26 Oct 2006

Fiji SDL leaders give conflicting accounts about links with Foster

5:24 pm on 26 October 2006

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has revealed that the former national director of his ruling SDL party, Jale Baba, was communicating with the serial international conman, Peter Foster, before the May general election.

Mr Qarase has told Radio Legend that Mr Baba had written letters to Foster without any authorisation from him or the SDL.

Mr Qarase says it is unfortunate that Mr Baba used an SDL letterhead to write to Foster.

Mr Qarase says there was never a link between the SDL party and Peter Foster.

Asked whether Mr Baba was forced to step down from the national director's position after these revelations, Mr Qarase said he would not like to talk about the personal affairs of people.

But Mr Baba has rejected statements by the prime minister that he was communicating with Peter Foster.

Mr Baba says he never wrote any letters to Foster and never received any money from the Australian convict.

Foster is under police guard in the Colonial War Memorial Hospital recovering from injuries he sustained when he jumped into the Deuba River while trying to evade arrest.

Fiji police are waiting to question Foster for three separate offences while Australian police also have a warrant for his arrest.