7 Dec 2006

Fiji's military commander imposes gagging order on Laisenia Qarase

5:12 am on 7 December 2006

Fiji's military commander has imposed a gagging order on Laisenia Qarase as he continues to claim to be

legitimate prime minister.

Censorship is in place and comments that are deemed to incite resistance to the armed takeover are banned.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"The self-styled head of state, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has warned the prime minister he deposed"

this week not to make any comment to the media. Mr Qarase refused to resign and has maintained that he

is the legitimate prime minister. Speaking in a Fijian language broadcast, Commodore Bainimarama has warned Mr Qarase that any breach of this instruction would see the military retaliate against the chief executive of the prime minister's office, Jioji Kotobalavu. Commodore Bainimarama says if he is defied the military will move Mr Kotobalavu from his current military custody to Nukulau island where George Speight is serving a life sentence for his role in the

2000 coup. The Commodore says there is no point in debating legalities and says Qarase and his cronies won't come

back. In Suva, I'm Walter Zweifel.