29 Oct 2004

Fiji police call in handwriting experts to help with latest coup investigation

4:06 pm on 29 October 2004

Fiji police say a handwriting expert has enabled them to close in on some prominent figures sworn in secretly into George Speight's failed administration immediately after the coup.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, says some signatures have been verified and briefs of evidence will be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions next month.

Mr Hughes declined to elaborate on those involved, but a police spokesman confirmed earlier this week that one of those implicated is the information minister, Simione Kaitani.

Mr Hughes says police have established that a secret swearing in ceremony was held behind closed doors before the televised one for which vice president Seniloli and deputy speaker Vakalalabure are serving a jail sentence.

"What we will be alleging is that this particular group, similar to the earlier group who were charged, accepted an unlawful oath of office into the unlawful government which attempted to be brought into effect following the coup on 20 May 2000"

Police commisisoner Andrew Hughes.

Mr Hughes says some final statements need to be obtained before the file can be sent to state prosecutors.