8 Feb 2006

Fiji police chief says no grounds for formal investigation into former soldiers' movements

11:21 am on 8 February 2006

Fiji's Police Commissioner says they have no jurisdictional powers to conduct an investigation into the movements of a group of former Fijji soldiers deported from Solomon Islands for breaching the country's immigration laws.

The 12 had intended meeting up with five other former Fiji soldiers who have been providing security for a notorious money scam operator in the south of Bougainville island for several months.

However, only 11 of the group were deported after one who escaped from immigration detention on Monday night remains at large.

Andrew Hughes says that although there's little Fiji police can do in terms of a formal investigation, there are a number of foreign policy issues for Fiji to consider...

"On an investigative level, it's really with the PNG and Solomon Islands authorities primarily. We will do what we can to assist if a request is made. And similarly, here in Fiji, if government decide that there is an issue for us beyond just the foreign policy one that we need to manage domestically, then of course we will provide that assistance as well."