6 Jan 2006

Fiji police investigate coup financiers

10:16 am on 6 January 2006

Fiji police are now investigating seven individuals, six companies and one organisation for allegedly financing the May 2000 Speight coup.

Radio Legend says this has been revealed by the police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, in an update on coup investigations.

Mr Hughes says the files on two of the individuals are already with the director of public prosecutions and the others, along with bank records where they are available, and statements of key witnesses, will be forwarded to the DPP this month.

Police have also completed investigations into eight rebel soldiers, one senator and a civilian for allegedly burning the farmhouse and the vehicle of the president at the time of the coup, the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.

Those files will also go to the DPP later this month.

Mr Hughes says four people who allegedly planned to kidnap and assassinate the prime minister of the-then coalition government, Mahendra Chaudhry, during an SVT protest march on the 28th of April in 2000 have been investigated and their files sent to the DPP.

Police are also investigating a conspiracy to blow up Nadi International Airport, key businesses and an electricity power substation near Lami based a statement given by the former coup convict now living in Australia, Maciu Navakasuasua.

Mr Hughes says investigations are also under way into a new allegation that there were plans to kill six members of the Chaudhry government at the height of the Speight coup.

Mr Hughes gave the information after Mr Chaudhry complained that senior police officers were hindering coup investigations.