11 Oct 2005

Fiji police boss raised budget issue with PM months ago

5:03 pm on 11 October 2005

It has been revealed in Fiji that the police commissioner had made known his concerns about government efforts to control his budget to the prime minister months before he went public recently.

The Fiji Sun reports that Andrew Hughes first raised the matter in June with Laisenia Qarase who asked the minister for home affairs, Josefa Vosinabola, to look into it.

The police spokesperson, Sylvia Low, says Mr Hughes followed this up by writing twice to Mr Vosanibola but did not get a reply.

The revelation came after Mr Vosinabola said Mr Hughes and the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, should have seen him about grievances relating to their budgets instead of going public.

The heads of the two security forces held a meeting last Friday to decide on a High Court challenge to the government for trying to remove their constitutional independence.

Meanwhile, a military spokesman, Captain Neumi Leweni, says it is now obvious that this is another move by the government to curb the authority of the commander.