24 Aug 2006

Fiji police commissioner restates call for inquiry into 2000 coup

3:42 pm on 24 August 2006

Fiji's police commissioner has reiterated his call for a commission of inquiry into the May 2000 coup despite the prime minister Laisenia Qarase's response that he does not see the need for it at this stage.

Mr Qarase said as far as he is concerned the way to go is to get the Reconciliation and Unity Bill passed because under that legislation there is provision for an inquiry of some type.

But Andrew Hughes has told Radio Legend that without a commission of inquiry the truth may never be known.

Mr Hughes says the criminal justice system is about a particular individual who is charged with an offence or offences and the evidence must adhere to strict rules and must relate to the offence with which they have been charged.

He says it does not pick up other ancillary things that are out there, that are of interest and that people need to know.

Mr Hughes says the criminal justice system is too focused, it is too rigid and it is not all encompassing, so the basis of a criminal investigation is too narrow.

Mr Hughes says the police can only target a handful of offences and people will never get to know the full details unless there is something like a commission of inquiry.

The police commissioner says he is hearing what the prime minister is saying and will wait to see how the Reconciliation and Unity Bill pans out.