11 Dec 2004

Fiji's military commander answers criticism of its role in the 2000 coup

9:18 am on 11 December 2004

Fiji's military commander says the military did not beak any laws in 2000 as it did what it had to do to restore stability in the country and to protect President Mara whose life was under threat.

Commodore Bainimarama has told the Daily Post neither he nor the military broke any laws during the coup and are not under police investigation.

The Commodore was responding to attacks on him by Sitiveni Rabuka and the chief executive in the Prime Minister's Office, Jioji Kotobalavu.

Commodore Bainimarama says Mr Rabuka should stop taking about the military's role and first clear his name for inciting the November 2000 mutiny.

He said the military had to ask the former president to step aside because people in parliament were threatening his life.

He says if the president had remained, the military would have had to shoot people in parliament and there would have been a blood bath.

He says Mr Kotobalavu should know this as a lot of people in Fiji know and understand why the military did what it did.