2 Feb 2007

Fiji military questions more police officer

2:59 pm on 2 February 2007

Fiji's military has taken in more police officers for questioning following the seizure of high-powered sniper rifles from two others including an assistant commissioner, Samuela Matakibau.

Radio Legend reports that the senior coup investigator, Inspector Waisea Tabakau, was taken to the military camp yesterday.

The Land Force commander, Col Pita Driti, is quoted as saying that Inspector Tabakau had some knowledge why Matakibau and the other officer had the sniper rifles, which were not part of the police or military armoury.

Col Driti said Tabakau was also questioned on why he had gone with the former assistant police commissioner, Kemueli Bulamainaivalu, to New Zealand late last year.

Tabakau's reason was that he was just following orders from his senior officers.

A report at the time said the former police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, had sent them to get New Zealand police to arrest Commodore Frank Bainimarama, who was in New Zealand.

Fiji police strenuously denied this report but it was then confirmed by the New Zealand prime minister, Helen Clark, who said the arrest request was rejected.

Tabakau has been released.