12 Oct 2006

Fiji PM compromising national security - says Fiji's National Alliance Party

9:21 am on 12 October 2006

Fiji's National Alliance Party says the prime minister is compromising national security by having meetings in Suva Prison with the paramount chief jailed for life for inciting the November 2000 army mutiny.

In a statement, the National Alliance says Ratu Inoke Takiveikata was found guilty and convicted by the courts of the most heinous of crimes against the state and the military which was treason and inciting mutiny.

The party says the prime minister's continued association with and support for those involved in and convicted for offences related to the coup is a blatant attempt to undermine national security and poses a threat to the good governance of the nation and its people.

But Laisenia Qarase says this is a smear campaign to discredit his leadership and the government.

Mr Qarase hs confirmed that he visited Ratu Inoke twice but said this was on a personal basis because the chief is patron of the ruling SDL party.

The prime minister says he is not influenced by Ratu Inoke and if the National Alliance had any evidence of serious allegations against him, the party should take it to the police for investigation.