28 Feb 2003

Fiji police to step up investigation into former commissioner's role in coup

8:05 am on 28 February 2003

Fiji police are to intensify investigations into the alleged role in the coup of their former commissioner, Col Isikia Savua.

The acting commissioner, Moses Driver, has told the Fiji Times that investigations were not aggresively pursued when Col Savua was in office because he had a lot of influence on people who were likely to assist them in their work.

Mr Driver says now that Col Savua is gone, it is important for police in terms of fairness and ethics to investigate all allegations against him and bring some finality to the inquiry.

Mr Driver says with the quality of information they have, there are grounds for suspicion and justification for them to conduct an intensive investigation.

He says the report of a secret inquiry into Col Savua by the former chief justice, Sir Timoci Tuivaga, was not made available to police because they were told it was confidential.

He says police will now try to obtain this report through legal means, if necessary by a warrant.

Meanwhile Mr Driver has disclosed that he is not an applicant to succeed Col Savua as commissioner, although about a dozen other officers in the force as well as some from the army are understood to have applied.