31 Dec 2005

Fiji police interviewing final witnesses over alleged plot to kill former PM

8:39 am on 31 December 2005

Fiji police say they have only about seven more witnesses to interview in their investigations into an alleged plot to assassinate a former prime minister and kidnap a former president.

A former coup convict, Maciu Navakasuasua, says he was approached to blow up Nadi International Airport when the-then prime minister, Mahendra Chaudhry passed through in 1999.

Mr Navakasuasua alleges the coup frontman George Speight, ordered the kidnap of the-then president, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, before seizing parliament on May the 19th, 2000.

Eighteen people are to be interviewed in connection with the allegations.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, says the work is nearing completion.

"Well the last briefing I had we still had about seven more to interview, and that work is proceeding. I expect another briefing in the next, probably, 48 hours."

Mr Hughes stands by his position that detectives can't charge people on the basis of a statement from one person.

Some cases people are prepared to talk and some of the witnesses that are in a position to corroborate aspects of what he's saying, have provided us with statements. In other cases they really are negative statements. But I mean that's the course of most investigations, you confront those issues.