2 Sep 2005

Fiji police want to interview PM over pre-coup meeting

10:12 am on 2 September 2005

Fiji police are expected to interview the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, about a meeting during the coup where it is alleged a request was put to the military commander to remove President Iloilo from office.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, has told Radio Legend they hope to get Mr Qarase's assistance in investigating the allegation made by Commodore Bainimarama about the meeting held in the boardroom of Fijian Holdings Limited.

Commodore Bainimarama made a public statement two weeks ago in which he said government senator Mohammed Apisai Tora and others had asked for the removal of the president so they could proceed with the formation of an interim administration.

Mr Qarase said earlier this week he was present at the meeting referred to by Commodore Bainimarama but denied that there was any request made to remove President Iloilo.

Mr Hughes says in view of Commodore Bainimarama's public statements, police need to revisit the file prepared during earlier investigations on the issue to determine if these are fresh allegations.

Commodore Bainimarama says he stands by his statement.