17 Apr 2003

Fiji MP says military commander's statement to Government tantamount to insubordination

4:31 pm on 17 April 2003

A Fiji government MP has attacked the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, saying he should be taken to task for insubordination and treason.

The Fiji Times reports the attack has come from Samisoni Tikonisau, who is a member of the pro-coup Conservative Alliance party and brother of coup front man, George Speight.

It follows Commodore Bainimarama's public statement that political influence must be kept out of the army's attempts to bring to justice those involved in the coup.

He also called for the removal of cabinet ministers who influenced President Iloilo to order a reduction in the prison sentences of soldiers convicted of mutiny.

Commoodore Bainimarama's statements were later reiterated by army spokesman, Warrant Officer Neumi Leweni, who said people in the government should resign if they did not agree with the army's policies.

Mr Tikonisau says the statements by Commodore Bainimarama are tantamount to insubordination and the government must seriously consider his position as head of the military.

Mr Tikonisau says Commodore Bainimarama himself committed a series of treasonous acts in removing the then president, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, and assuming authority unlawfully when he declared martial law after the coup.