6 Mar 2004

Speight rubbishes claims of business backing to 2000 Fiji coup

8:20 am on 6 March 2004

The recently-released Fiji coup convict, Jim Speight, says the May 2000 coup was fuelled by nothing more than the goodwill of a group of indigenous Fijians standing up for the rights of their people.

Jim Speight maintains his comments from last week that there was no financial backing for the May 2000 coup by businesses or other individuals.

He says after nearly four years, there's still no solid evidence to prove high-level financial backing was involved in the coup.

Jim Speight says he and the other coup convicts have always maintained the truth over their actions.

"The judge asked us 'guilty or not guilty?' Of course we are guilty. There is nothing to hide. May the 19th was something done. I think they are quoting it as the most open coup in the world. It was a civilian takeover. What that means is it was done by ordinary, young, Fijian indigenous men for our rights in this country to self-determination in the way we conduct our affairs and that same declaration was made in court."