16 Apr 2007

US, British and Oz diplomats in Fiji told to waive immunity to allow investigations

10:28 am on 16 April 2007

Fiji's interim attorney general has called on the US ambassador and the British and Australian high commissioners in Suva to waive their diplomatic immunity to allow for investigations into allegations that they tried to incite an army mutiny.

The commander of Fiji's Land Forces, Col Pita Driti, has stood by his allegations that the three top diplomats tried to incite him to remove the military commander, Commodore Bainimarama, a few days before the December 5th military takeover.

The three diplomatic missions put out a joint statement last Friday denying the allegations.

The interim attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khayum, has told the Fiji Sun newspaper the interim administration would register its strongest protest at the actions of the three top diplomats.

Mr Sayed-Khayum says their actions constituted inciting mutiny and Fiji citizens have served or are currently serving jail terms for just such offences.

He says the three diplomats are hiding behind diplomatic immunity or they would be facing police investigations.

The interim attorney general says in light of the diplomats' much publicized commitment to the rule of law, they should consider waiving their diplomatic status to allow for unimpeded investigations into their behavior.

Mr Sayed-Khayum says no country would accept foreign diplomats inciting mutiny in their military forces which violates the basic principles of territorial sovereignty.