28 Aug 2004

Fiji police commissioner firm on agitators

7:30 am on 28 August 2004

Fiji's police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, has told the country's senators that he stands by his statement that anyone who commits or incites violence to instill fear with political motives is a domestic terrorist.

In a letter read out in the senate, Mr Hughes said he did not infer that those who are upholding indigenous rights are domestic terrorists.

Mr Hughes said that connection was made by others, not him.

He said he was referring to "a small group who are agitating for unrest and civil disorder in the wake of recent decisions of the High Court."

Mr Hughes said his warning was directed "at this small group who wanted to demean the rule of law and show outright contempt for the process of justice."

Mr Hughes said "divisive statements based on race to pursue personal or political agendas must be exposed as such."

But one of the three senators who had attacked Mr Hughes earlier, Mitieli Bulanauca, said Mr Hughes was a foreign public servant who should not meddle in local politics and should shut up.