3 Jun 2002

Fiji's Public Prosecutions denies ordering treason charges against the army's commander

9:18 am on 3 June 2002

Fiji's director of Public Prosecutions is denying that his office has issued a directive to lay treason charges against the army commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

The Fiji Sun says Josua Naigulevu's denial follows a weekend report that two decrees issued by the Commodore soon after the May 2000 coup would be the basis of the charge.

These were the decree to abolish the 1997 Constitution and another decree to uphold all other existing Fiji Laws.

Mr Naigulevu has confirmed receiving a complaint from the President of the Fiji Citizens Movement, James Bachu.

Mr Bachu says the decree to abolish the constitution and the removal of the then president, Sir Ratu Kamisese Mara, were treasonable offences which should be tried in court.

The Sun quotes senior police officers as saying the complaint has been classified because of its sensitivity and its implication on other senior officers who accompanied Commodore Bainimarama to ask Ratu Mara to step down as President.

The newspaper understands investigations are currently underway