8 Mar 2003

Fiji newspaper says former police commissioner wanted prime minister's job

9:17 am on 8 March 2003

A report from Fiji says the former commissioner of police, Col Isikia Savua, had wanted to be prime minister after the May 2000 coup.

The Fiji Sun newspaper reports that a week before the coup Col Savua had packed all his belongings in his office and told his staff officer that he would be moving to the Prime Minister's office as prime minister.

The newspaper says the officer was sent on an overseas mission to prevent him giving testimony to an inquiry headed by the controversial former chief justice, Sir Timoci Tuivaga, which cleared Col Savua in a report which has never been made public.

The Fiji Sun report reveals that even before the coup, a proposed cabinet line-up was circulated among indigenous Fijians living in Sydney naming Col Savua as prime minister.

Col Savua is now Fiji's ambassador to the United Nations with pressure building up to re-open investigations into his role in the coup after evidence given in the treason trial of Josefa Nata and Timoci Silatolu.