11 Mar 2003

Fiji police to open fresh investigation into senior government officials

11:27 am on 11 March 2003

Fiji police have started fresh investigations into the alleged role of four top government officials in the May 2000 coup which overthrew the Chaudhry government.

The Daily Post newspaper reports that heading the list is the former police commissioner and now Fiji's ambassador to the United Nations, Col Isikia Savua.

The other three are the commissioner of prisons, Aisea Taoka, the High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea and opposition leader at the time of the coup, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, and the deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure.

The Post says the government ordered the investigations after the names of the four were mentioned by a state witness in the treason trial of Josefa Nata and Timoci Silatolu.

The investigations are headed by Superintendent Waisea Tabakau, who says everyone implicated in the coup will come under scrutiny.

He says a report will be submitted to the director of public prosecutions who will decide on whether to press charges.