11 Feb 2005

Fiji government partner says police chief should quit

8:25 am on 11 February 2005

Fiji's pro-coup Conservative Alliance party is demanding the police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, resigns.

The anger of the junior partner in the Qarase coalition government stems from this week's police statement that no-one will be prosecuted for the removal from office of the former president, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, during the coup.

The police statement said the office of the director of public prosecutions had studied the file, and found there was insufficient evidence to lay charges.

Critics have been pressing for the prosecution of the military commander,

Commodore Bainimarama, who had led a delegation which asked Ratu Mara to step aside.

The Conservative Alliance MP, Josateki Vula, has told the Fiji Sun newspaper Commissioner Hughes should resign.

Mr Vula says the decision not to prosecute "is one sided, unfair and unjust."

He says the military had a role to play in the 2000 crisis, and the argument that the police had insufficient evidence was ludicrous.