27 Oct 2005

Plot to kidnap Fiji president revealed

9:27 am on 27 October 2005

It's now been revealed that the Fiji coup front man, George Speight, had ordered the kidnap of the then president, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, before seizing parliament on May 19th, 2000.

The Fiji Sun reports that this has been disclosed by the coup convict, Maciu Navakasuasua, who now lives in Australia.

Mr Navakasuasua says two martial arts experts, Jona Vida and Salesi Tuifagalele, were assigned to be part of the group named by Speight to kidnap Ratu Mara.

The group included Mr Navakasuasua himself as well as a soldier of the Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit who was familiar with the internal layout of Government House.

But Mr Navakasuasua says the two martial arts experts refused because they were from the Province of Lau and Ratu Mara was their paramount chief.

Mr Navakasuasua says the plan was called off on the morning of the coup when it was found that Ratu Mara was not at Government House and Speight's soldiers stormed parliament.

Mr Tuifagalele has confirmed that Mr Navakasuasua's revelation of the plot to kidnap Ratu Mara is true.