20 Sep 2005

Confirmation that Speight was only the frontman for 2000 coup in Fiji

8:27 am on 20 September 2005

It's been confirmed in Fiji that George Speight was only the front man for the May 2000 coup in which the Chaudhry government was overthrown and taken hostage at gunpoint.

The Fiji Sun reports that the confirmation has come from one of those involved in the planning of the coup and now Australian resident, Maciu Navakasuasua.

Mr Navakasuasua says the coup was planned by the Nationalist Vanua Tako Lavo Party and Speight was only brought in a day earlier to be its spokesman.

He says Speight readily accepted the offer because he already had grudges against the government.

But he says Speight was an opportunist who staged a coup within a coup and grabbed the leadership role.

The Nationalist Vanua Tako Lavo Party president, Viliame Savu, who has served his coup sentence, has confirmed that Speight was only brought in the day before the coup.

Mr Navakasuasua has called on former Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit soldier, Vilimoni Tikotani, to reveal the truth about who used him and his unit.

But The Sun says Tikotani, who is currently serving a jail term at Naboro Prison near Suva, did not wish to comment yesterday.