6 Aug 2004

Fiji Labour MP says he'll take coup allegations to police

6:30 am on 6 August 2004

An allegation that the Fiji prime minister had advance knowledge of the 2000 coup may become a police matter.

The claim caused an uproar this week in parliament when the Fiji Labour MP, Poseci Bune, made the allegation, and asked for Laisenia Qarase's resignation.

Mr Bune says Mr Qarase had just arrived on an outer island, when an anti-government march was held in Suva, as gunmen took the Chaudhry government hostage.

"They arrived from Suva on the morning when the march took place. He had told Senator Finau Tabakaucoro and one other senator who was within hearing that he wished he was back in Suva to witness the march because he knew that after that march there would be a new government in place."

Mr Qarase has reportedly labelled the accusations "vicious and despicable lies based on hearsay and gossip."

Poseci Bune says he intends to take the matter to the police.