15 Dec 2004

Fiji police still trying to identify Speight coup financial backers

11:09 am on 15 December 2004

Fiji police are reported to be having difficulty investigating the financial transactions between supporters of the May 2000 coup and its jailed front man, George Speight.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, has told Radio Legend that the investigators are finding it hard to track down people who may have provided money to Speight.

Mr Hughes says police have received some information but not enough.

This is because much of it was done in a secret environment, nothing was written down and there was no paper trail.

Mr Hughes says those privy to these conversations are not willing to come forward and give police a statement.

Police are also checking certain deposits made into Speight's bank account just before and during the coup.

Some months after the coup, the then commander of the Third Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment, Lt Col Viliame Seruvakula, said publicly that he had been offered 260-thousand dollars cash to take his troops over in support of the coup but he had refused.