29 Jan 2007

Campaign head for Fiji's SDL party admits selling state vehicle

10:44 am on 29 January 2007

The former campaign director of the deposed Fiji prime minister Laisenia Qarase's SDL party, Jale Baba, has admitted selling a state vehicle to a farmer.

After earlier denials, the Fiji Sun reports that when the military took him back to the camp yesterday in the presence of the newspaper's reporter and confronted him with the man who bought the state vehicle, Mr Baba admitted it.

A former SDL administrator, Sulueti Tuicakau, also accused Mr Baba in the presence of the military and the Sun reporter of misusing funds directed for small business enterprises, saying he had put the money into his pocket.

In his earlier two day detention last week, Mr Baba was also interrogated over allegations of vote rigging in last year's general election.

The Sunday Times reported that the allegations stemmed from a secret video tape recording filmed by the Australian conmen, Peter Foster, with businessman Navitalai Naisoro.

Mr Naisoro is currently facing charges in connection with a conspiracy to bomb Nadi International Airport in 1999 after the Chaudhry government came into power.

Mr Baba says his interrogation was tantamount to psychological bullying and he had lost two days of his life in the process.

The military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, has confirmed that Mr Baba was questioned on alleged vote rigging and corruption.