4 Jun 2004

Fiji Labour Party told of coup in advance - convict claims

2:31 pm on 4 June 2004

It's been claimed that the Fiji Labour Party knew of the May 2000 coup which overthrew its coalition government but failed to act on the information.

The Fiji Times says the claim has been made by recently released coup convict, Maciusela Naisogobuli, who says he attended meetings with the coup plotters so he could access information for the Labour Party.

He says two days before the coup he and two others in the underground network told a Labour Party member of the plot.

They advised the government not to go to parliament on May the 19th and cancel the nationalist march that was planned for that day.

But Mr Naisogobuli says Mahendra Chaudhry, who was prime minister then, was too arrogant and ignored their advice.

He says the Labour Party should apologise to the nation because it could have stopped the coup.

Labour president Jokapeci Koroi says she does not recall any advice being given but they did have a tape recording of an SVT party meeting which had details of the plot.

Mrs Koroi says they trusted the police to pick up the information in the tape and act on it.