8 Mar 2011

Fiji colonel says former cabinet minister was not beaten by military

1:36 pm on 8 March 2011

The Fiji military's Land Force Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga has confirmed members of his force apprehended former cabinet minister Samisoni Tikonisau but has denied allegations they beat him.

Mr Tikonisau fled to Australia, saying he was detained for three days and beaten at an army barracks in Fiji two weeks ago.

Colonel Tikoitoga says the military's role has been to help police locate and apprehend people suspected of violating Fiji's Public Emergency Regulations.

"Those individuals have been going out of their way to disturb the Public Emergency Regulations that are in place in Fiji. If there was some resistance to arrest you would expect a minimum force being used to bring them in and some of those minimum force being used has been interpreted differently by different people."

Colonel Tikoitonga says the military in Fiji does not detain or investigate suspects.