19 Jul 2012

Plot to kill Fiji leader denied

11:06 pm on 19 July 2012

Three men named in connection with an alleged plot to assassinate Fiji's military leader Frank Bainimarama are rejecting any suggestion of wrongdoing.

And one of the men, a former Fiji cabinet minister now living in Auckland, says he will make a formal complaint about a raid on his home by the SIS and the police.

Rajesh Singh says he was told by officers during the raid the alleged plot was discussed at a meeting at his house two weeks earlier.

Mr Singh says this is absurd and he would never condone such a thing.

Another Fiji dissident, former Fiji Army officer Ratu Tevita Mara, was also at the meeting and says he has never thought about, talked about, or asked anyone, to kill Commodore Bainimarama.

The third man at Mr Singh's home was Tony Fullman, a New Zealand citizen who once headed Fiji's water authority.

He says he was in Auckland to see a sick relative and visited Mr Singh.

He too rejects the plot allegation, saying the three discussed the situation in Fiji and their campaign to restore democracy, and then he left.

Police National Headquarters is refusing to comment.

Prime Minister John Key is also not commenting directly but says the Security Intelligence Service, which he is responsible for, has his full support.

He says he has only ever known the SIS to conduct itself in a careful and considered way.

"There's nothing I've seen them undertake in my time as the minister where I've either been uncomfortable, where I think they've either acted unlawfully or they haven't acted in a considered and appropriate manner, and I fully support their actions whatever they might be but I'm not prepared to discuss their individual actions."