3 Sep 2004

Former Fiji prime minister says no similarities between 1987 and 2000

10:33 am on 3 September 2004

The former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, says his two military coups in 1987 should not be compared with the Speight coup in 2000.

Radio Legend says Mr Rabuka was responding to questions raised by a government senator, the Rev Tomasi Kanailagi, on why the people in the 2000 coup have not been given a pardon although the 1987 coup leader was allowed to walk free.

But Mr Rabuka says the Rev Kanailagi does not have any "in depth knowledge of what he is talking about."

Mr Rabuka says he "did not have to ask for a pardon from anyone."

He says the only one whom he could have asked for a pardon was the Queen whom he ousted.

Mr Rabuka says only the Queen had the power to pardon him but he "had effectively removed her" and he was in power.

Mr Rabuka is still awaiting a police clearance from Fiji and approval by the US State Department before he takes up his new appointment as ambassador in Washington.