4 Aug 2004

Fiji military commander warns against demonstrations at end of Seniloli trial

9:15 am on 4 August 2004

Fiji's military commander has warned that the security forces will not tolerate any agitators when the courts decide the fate of vice president Seniloli at the end of his treason trial.

The Daily Post quotes Commodore Bainimarama as saying the security forces will uphold the ruling of the courts, whichever way it goes.

Commodore Bainimarama says "if people demonstrate against the rule of law and think that the security forces will stand twiddling their thumbs, they have another thing coming."

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, is also quoted as saying that any move to destabilise the country will not be tolerated.

Mr Hughes says "there will be no repeat of the 2000 mayhem."

The commissioner says police "have heard talk of protests and demonstrations" and are "prepared to respond if and when the need arises."

The court was packed with supporters of the treason accused during the trial yesterday.

Meanwhile, the minister for women and social welfare, Adi Asenaca Caucau, has sharply attacked coup related investigations and prosecutions of "chiefs, politicians, soldiers and policemen all of whom" she says "are members of one particular race."