21 Jan 2003

Fiji's CCF calls for foreign help to convict coup makers

12:38 pm on 21 January 2003

Fiji's Citizen's Constitutional Forum wants international assistance for the country's public prosecutor's office to allow it to pursue the people behind the May 2000 coup.

The call comes after recent claims a former army commander and a high chief were the instigators of the November 2000 mutiny.

As well, local reports say an FBI investigation shows coup maker George Speight was at the heart of widespread corruption allegedly involving members of the Rabuka government and the American company vying for the country's mahogany reserves.

The CCF's executive director, the Reverend Akuila Yabaki, says while police have been investigating a growing list of suspects, the DPP refuses to take them further claiming the cases are not strong enough.

But he says the latest accusations amount to new evidence and a DPP office, bolstered by overseas help, could follow them through.

"I think we need more independent expertise to deal with crime I think crime in Fiji is the same as crime anywhere else in the world so we need experts who can handle these things. And I think there are some governments that are prepared to make assistance. I think the Australian government is prepared to and I'm sure the New Zealand has been involved and I think we need more governments offering in that regard."