24 Nov 2006

Fiji military quiet about its coup plans alleged by Australia

3:03 pm on 24 November 2006

Fiji's military is being tightlipped over claims that their commander is planning a coup within weeks to overthrow the elected government.

The Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, made the claim after Fiji's police commissioner said shadowy figures hoping to become ministers in an interim government were inciting Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

Commodore Bainimarama is in New Zealand and the commander of Land Forces, Col Pita Driti, claimed not to have heard the suggestion.

Mr Downer has said there's clear evidence to suggest the commander is planning a coup in the next few weeks.

Col Driti dismissed the suggestion.

"Ah no, no, no, everthing's being said and done so far and wheat's been said is something I know that has put a lot of people in a lot of hoops and loops in terms of question marks that have arisen, but I have no comment right now."

Col Driti says senior military officers are waiting for a brief from the commander today before making any public statements.