26 Oct 2004

Fiji's Information Minister under scrutiny over the 2000 coup

2:08 pm on 26 October 2004

Fiji police today confirmed that the information minister, Simione Kaitani, is the cabinet minister under investigation for his role in the 2000 coup.

The revelation follows Mr Kaitani's repeated denial of any involvement in the

overthrow of the government.

The police spokesman, acting assistant superintendent Kolinio Vunaki, says

police are still gathering evidence on Mr Kaitani and appealing to witnesses

for help.

"He is on the list that has been implicated and police are investigating them. But we're only relying on evidence that we gather."

Acting assistant superintendent Vunaki says Mr Kaitani was interviewed by the police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, yesterday.

A prominent senator, Adi Koila Mara Nailatikau - who was held hostage during the coup - has accused Mr Kaitani of colluding with the coup perpetrators.

Mr Kaitani then accused Adi Koila of abusing her privilege in the house to make wild allegations.