1 Nov 2006

Fiji military defies police to take ammunition from wharf

2:34 pm on 1 November 2006

The Fiji military illegally removed 7.5. tonnes of ammunition from the wharves in Suva this morning.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, says he had received an assurance yesterday from the acting military commander, Captain Esala Teleni, that the ammunition would not be used against the government of Fiji.

He says they then agreed to reassure the public and intended doing that through a joint press conference this morning, but Captain Teleni pulled out, and he found out later the military had taken the bullets from the wharves.

Mr Hughes says he hasn't signed an import licence for the ammunition.

He says he remains hopeful the military will not try to depose the government based on the assurances from Captain Teleni.

"How much weight I can place on that is open to question. I would rather hope that as professionals they wouldn't be deceiving me but I will have to take that assurance on face value at the present time."