8 Nov 2006

Wife of former Fiji Speaker rejects allegations that he acted as advisor to military

10:49 am on 8 November 2006

The wife of the former Speaker of Fiji's parliament, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, has strongly rejected allegations that he has acted as one of the key advisors of the military during the recent crisis.

Adi Koila Mara Nailatikau has told the Daily Post newspaper her husband is innocent.

And she has called on certain political elements to back off and stop labeling her husband a traitor.

Adi Koila says the allegations are "absolutely untrue, mischievous and highly defamatory."

Adi Koila, who was held hostage by George Speight's gunmen during the coup, says her husband should not be used as a scapegoat for the current problems between the army and the government.

Adi Koila says Ratu Epeli's appointment as high commissioner in London has been confirmed by the British government and the family has been preparing to leave.

Ratu Epeli Nailatikau was Fiji's military commander in 1987 when he was deposed while overseas by his junior, Sitiveni Rabuka, who then staged two coups.