24 Nov 2006

Australia's foreign minister says there's evidence Fiji's Commander is plannning coup

12:07 pm on 24 November 2006

The Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer, says there is clear evidence that Fiji's military commander, Commodore Bainimarama, is planning a coup in the next few weeks.

Mr Downer made the comment on the ABC after Fiji's Australian police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, said shadowy figures hoping to become ministers in an interim government were inciting Commodore Bainimarama.

Mr Hughes said the next phase of their investigations will be targeting these individuals and groups so they can be exposed to he public, and warned all those involved in some form of conspiracy to destabilize or remove the government to think again.

Giving his support for Mr Hughes, Mr Downer says Fiji's justice system should be allowed to do its job.

Mr Downer says Fiji police should do their work and if they feel they have charges to bring, they should do that.

He says prosecutors should take up these matters which should be considered by the courts.

Mr Downer says it's not for the army to intervene in the legal processes of the country.

Commodore Bainimarama is in New Zealand but plans to return to Fiji next week.