28 Sep 2005

Fiji police reject Chaudhry claims over slow coup probe

7:19 pm on 28 September 2005

Fiji's police commissioner has hit out at the opposition leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, for accusing the police of dragging their feet over coup investigations.

Mr Chaudhry had said he was fast losing confidence in the police because of lack of progress in investigations over revelations made by the coup convict, Maciu Navakasuasua, who disclosed the masterminds of the coup and plans to execute the hostage government.

But Mr Hughes has told Radio Legend he totally rejects Mr Chaudhry's suggestion that police are not actively and aggressively pursuing all avenues of inquiry in relation to the coup.

Mr Hughes says it was police who obtained Mr Navakasusua's statement and they are following up a number of issues contained in it.

He says Mr Chaudhry is well aware that they cannot simply charge people on the basis of one statement and police want to ensure that the best evidence is available before they present it to the director of public prosecutions.

Mr Hughes says people know the police track record on coup prosecutions and Mr Chaudhry's accusations are probably part of the Labour Party's general election campaign.