2 Aug 2005

Fiji police seek legal advice on possible prosecution of militia leader

9:41 am on 2 August 2005

Fiji police are seeking legal advice on whether a security officer with Israeli links who offered to set up a private militia for the Qarase government should be prosecuted.

Fiji TV reports that police will meet with the director of public prosecutions over the issue.

The report says Assistant Commissioner Kemueli Bulamainaivalu has also confirmed that police have taken in the man, Vilikesa Raqio, for questioning.

Police will decide whether to lay charges against Mr Raqio after they receive the DPP's advice.

Mr Raqio, of the Tel Aviv-based company Global Security International, had said he had met the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, and the home affairs minister, Josefa Vosanibola, with his offer to protect the government from the military if the Reconciliation and Unity Bill was passed.

Mr Qarase has confirmed he met Mr Raqio but only during a prayer session and not over security matters.

Fiji's military has already questioned Mr Raqio over concern that setting up a private militia would involve the import of illegal firearms to threaten national security.