25 Aug 2005

Fiji agitator wanted to oust president, claims military head

9:48 am on 25 August 2005

Fiji's military commander has revealed that government senator Mohammed Apisai Tora and some others had asked the military to remove President Iloilo just a week after he had taken office.

Commodore Bainimarama made the revelation on local radio after Senator Tora accused him of acting like a politician in opposing the Reconciliation and Unity Bill with the support of the Labour Party, the Fiji Law Society and NGOs.

Commodore Bainimarama said the request to oust the president from office was put to him in the boardroom of Fijian Holdings Limited as the post coup interim administration was being appointed in 2000.

Today the Fiji Times quotes Commodore Bainimarama as saying he is ready to give a statement to police on the matter.

The newspaper quotes legal sources as saying the senator could face charges of treason if the matter is brought to court.

Commodore Bainimarama says he had not carried out the group's wishes to remove President Iloilo because he believed that would have been detrimental to the country.