26 May 2007

Fiji's military spokesman says lawyer for GCC likely to remain in custody

1:18 pm on 26 May 2007

Fiji's military has taken into custody the lawyer for sacked members of the Great Council of Chiefs, Kitione Vuetaki, for allegedly inciting the Fijian people.

Mr Vuetaki was taken from his Lautoka home to the military barracks in the western city yesterday afternoon.

The detention followed remarks Mr Vuetaki made to the media regarding his High Court case challenging the sacking of members of the Chiefs' Council and the suspension of its meetings.

He questioned the powers of the interim Fijian affairs minister, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, saying he was not elected by the Fijian people.

He also questioned the suspension of meetings of the Council of Chiefs at a time when he claimed the indigenous people needed the Council to protect their interests on land issues from the interim administration.

The military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, says Mr Vuetaki is likely to remain in custody until investigations are complete.