29 Oct 2007

Fiji's military says killing suspects should have been allowed to leave for Iraq

4:13 pm on 29 October 2007

Fiji's military says it wants answers as to why a court order was issued to prevent some soldiers and a police officer from departing on a U.N. peacekeeping flight to Iraq.

The Director of Public Prosecutions issued the court order against the men, who are suspected of having played a role in the death of Nimilote Verebasaga.

Mr Verebasaga died after being taken in by security forces earlier this year, but no charges have been laid.

Military spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga says the order was carried out just before the eight men were about to leave Fiji with a contingent of over 200 officers for United Nations duties in Iraq.

He says they should not have been stopped.

"Im surprised they were pulled out. No one has been charged yet, no one has received any charges. I know they were implicated to be involved in some cases that happened a couple of months back, but I haven't got the full details yet. I intend to get that today."

Lieutenant Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga