30 Jan 2007

Fiji military announces probe into police force

9:59 am on 30 January 2007

Fiji's military has formed a joint task force with the police to review the operations of the force.

Fiji TV reports that the review includes investigations into some senior officers.

The arrest and detention of the former head of the Police Tactical Response Unit, Assistant Commissioner Samuela Matakibau, for allegedly being in possession of illegal firearms is part of the review.

The Police Tactical Response Unit was disarmed by soldiers at the time of the coup.

The military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, says Assistant Commissioner Sada Nand was also called into camp for discussions with the deputy military commander, navy Captain Esala Teleni.

The TV report says more senior police officers are expected to be taken into the military camp soon.

Meanwhile, the military has placed a guard on a large private launch belonging to the former police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, to stop it being taken away by some Australian friends of his.

Mr Hughes, an Australian national, fled Fiji a few days before the military takeover after failing to have Commodore Bainimarama arrested by New Zealand police.