28 Jul 2004

Fiji's police commissioner signals that coup investigations may soon come to an end

3:26 pm on 28 July 2004

Police in Fiji are pooling resources in an effort to conclude investigations into the May 2000 coup.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, says a decision has been made to combine two separate teams, including the commissioner's taskforce looking at allegations of police complicity in the coup, to concentrate the efforts.

Mr Hughes has signalled that a decision must be made shortly over how long the investigations will continue.

He says there are only scarce resources which have to be carefully allocated.

"I'm getting concerned that there's new and emerging crimes - we had the recent large drug bust, involving Asian-organised crime, corruption issues, white collar crime is going. And, these are historic offences now, four and a half years on nearly. We've got to draw a line in the sand somewhere but that said, I want to ensure that we've done everything we can reasonably do to bring the rest of those involved, to account."

Mr Hughes says no time limit has been applied to the investigating team but they know it has to be wrapped up.

He says two coup-related files have been returned by the Director of Public Prosecutors office to the police, asking that further evidence be compiled.

These are the alleged involvement of the former police commissioner, Isikia Savua, and the alleged forcing from office of the former president, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.