7 Dec 2006

Fiji's military dumps Australian police commissioner accusing him of absence from duty

6:14 pm on 7 December 2006

The Pacnews newsagency reports that the military regime now running Fiji has accused the country's police commissioner, Australian Andrew Hughes, of gross dereliction of duty.

Mr Hughes has been in Australia since last Wednesday.

He has now been sacked with the military commander writing in an undated letter that his absence is a display of total disregard for the welfare of Fiji citizens.

A similar undated letter was delivered to the acting police commissioner, Moses Driver, who has effectively vacated his office today, with army Lt Colonel Jim Koroi taking his place.

Also removed from office today is acting police commissioner, crime, Kevueli Bulamainaivalu.

Lt Colonel Koroi was accepted in a traditional Fijian ceremony at police

headquarters today by some senior police officers.

But Pacnews reports some police officers being in a state of confusion with many questioning the legality of Colonel Koroi's appointment.

Others say they have accepted the army colonel under duress.

Meanwhile reports from western Fiji speak of growing dissent over the

military's decision to topple the Qarase government.

Chiefs and people of Ba province also say they will escort their high chief, Ratu Josefa Iloilo to the capital in defiance of the military's decision to sack him as president.