31 Oct 2007

Fiji military boss denies interference in Rabaka murder case

3:14 pm on 31 October 2007

Fiji's interim prime minister and military commander says he can't stop any soldiers from going overseas on peacekeeping duties just because they are suspects in a murder case.

Commodore Bainimarama's comments on Fiji TV were in relation to the eight men, seven of them soldiers, charged with the murder of a Nadi teenager just as they were about to leave for Iraq last Saturday.

Commodore Bainimarama says allowing the soldiers to go overseas for peacekeeping was not an interference with the investigation of the murder.

The military spokesman, Lt Col Mosese Tikoitoga, says the director of public prosecutions did not furnish them with a list of suspects.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Peacekeepers Association has expressed concern that the soldiers implicated in the murder were not isolated as what happened has caused embarrassment to them and their families.

And Alinieta Rabaka, the mother of victim Sakiusa Rabaka, says she believes that the army had tried to send the suspects abroad to thwart the course of justice.

Mrs Rabaka says she is happy that the law is finally taking action.

Police are trying to establish why a policeman, who is now also charged over the murder, was booked on the Iraq flight.