19 Jul 2012

Fiji's Bainimarama not surprised by assassination plot against him

10:11 am on 19 July 2012

Fiji's interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says he is not surprised by the reports of an alleged assassination plot against him.

A Fiji man living in New Zealand , Rajesh Singh, says police have told him the former Fiji Army officer Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, and the former head of Fiji's water authority, Anthony Fullman, discussed ways to kill Frank Bainimarama and the country's Attorney General.

The police searched Mr Singh's house in Auckland on Tuesday, and seized a laptop and cellphone.

Commodore Bainimarama, who is in South Korea, told Radio Tarana he has not heard of the latest reports of a plot against him.

But he says he does know there are people trying to stop the good work that is being done by the people in Fiji.

"So it wouldn't surprise me if there was an intention to assassinate me, that's nothing new from that camp."

Commodore Bainimarama survived an assassination attempt 12 years ago during a mutiny in Suva.

Meanwhile, one of the men claimed to be behind the assassination plot says the accusations are ludicrous, and completely untrue.

Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, who now lives in Tonga, says he's never thought of doing such a thing.

Absurd news to me, it's the first time I've heard about it and I'm quite surprised about they have put the blame for us on that. I've never heard of such a thing, it has never crossed my mind.

Ratu Tevita says he wouldn't be surprised to hear of an assassination plot, because most people in Fiji want democracy restored.

Neither the New Zealand police, nor the New Zealand prime minister, John Key, who is also the Minister in charge of the SIS, would comment.