13 Jan 2010

Fiji police confirm they're investigating Methodist Church

2:29 pm on 13 January 2010

The police in Fiji have confirmed they're investigating Methodist church ministers for espionage and as a result the interim regime has extended its ban on annual church conferences until 2014.

This comes a day after the Interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama told Radio Fiji that an unspecified numbers of ministers were paid by the previous government to spy on the military.

He claims this was done by the Police Force Special Branch.

A police spokeswoman Ema Dimila says while the payments are now to be scrutinised, no charges have been laid against church members.

"I don't want to pre-empt anything of course, injustice to the Methodist Church. They have been subject to investigations for quite some time. There have been issues highlighted by the media over the past years regarding how or where they stand against the political crisis if there's any in the country. So obviously they're a faction that needs to be investigated thoroughly and that is what we are doing."

Ema Dimila says the police are also investigating the Police Force Special Branch.