10 Feb 2004

Fiji police commissioner orders police to co-operate with investigation

9:13 am on 10 February 2004

Fiji's police commissioner says he has issued a directive to all police to co-operate with a new taskforce investigating the alleged role of officers in the May 2000 coup.

Andrew Hughes says the taskforce, which begins work today, is looking at how he can best help bring those responsible for the coup to justice.

He says he cannot make people in the community come forward with coup-related evidence.

However, Mr Hughes says some allegations concern current and former members of the Fiji police, and he can make a difference there.

"What I'm saying to those inside the force is that you will assist this inquiry, otherwise if we, on the balance of probabilities, believe that you've had information or you've told a lie to the senior officer who's holding the investigtion, then that's a discipoinary matter and we'll take appropriate action."

Andrew Hughes says some junior officers may say they were simply following orders, but this will not absolve them entirely.