18 Dec 2004

Fiji police probe Ratu Mara's removal from presidency

9:07 am on 18 December 2004

Police in Fiji are investigating the alleged role of some of the country's highest figures in the removal of the former president, the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, during the coup.

Fiji TV reports that those under scrutiny include the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

It also says the former police commissioner and now ambassador to the United nations, Colonel Isikia Savua is being investigated, along with the former chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs, Ratu Epeli Ganilau; and the former prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka.

In a pre-recorded television interview broadcast after his death this year, Ratu Mara had named the four men as being among the group which had visited him, and had asked him to step aside from the presidency.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, says investigations are progressing and could take another 12 months.