20 May 2003

Fiji opposition leader calls for prosecution of those behind Fiji coup of 2000

7:13 am on 20 May 2003

Fiji's opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, has called for the prosecution of those whom he calls the big sharks in the coup.

Mr Beddoes has made the call yesterday on the anniversary of the May 2000 coup.

He says much more still needs to be done to unveil the top ranking officers and businessmen who are hiding away.

He says Lt Col Viliame Seruvakula, the former commander of the 3rd Battalion, should be brought back from New Zealand to give the names of those who plotted and funded the coup.

In an interview before leaving for New Zealand, Lt Col Seruvakula had said that he was offered the equivalent of 130-thousand US dollars in Fiji currency in cash to take his troops in support of the coup but he refused.

Mr Beddoes has also called for the diplomats who have been implicated in the coup to come forward and clear their names.

Meanwhile, the Fiji National Council of Women is holding a peace vigil in the Anglican Cathedral in Suva to mark the third anniversary of the coup.

And figures published today show that nearly 20-thousand mostly professional people and mostly Indo-Fijians have migrated in the three years since the coup.