25 Oct 2004

Fiji's information minister denies any involvement in 2000 coup

2:43 pm on 25 October 2004

Fiji's information minister denies any involvement in the 2000 coup and says the senator accusing him has her own personal agenda.

Simione Kaitani brushed aside comments made in the Upper House by Adi Koila Mara Nailatikau that he was in parliament during the coup, and spoke out against her late father, president Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.

Mr Kaitani says the police investigated him in the wake of the coup and have not charged him with any offence.

He says Adi Koila's allegations that he was intimately involved with the coup perpetrators are public knowledge in Fiji.

"She has deliberately been using her privilege in the house to try to get at government, especially with the national reconciliation week that we have successfully conducted. I think she has other agendas that is leading to her making these kind of wild allegations."

Mr Kaitani says he believes Adi Koila blames him for the ousting of her brother-in-law, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, as head of the Great Council of Chiefs.