2 Jun 2003

Former Fiji Prime Minister denies involvement in 2000 coup

4:01 pm on 2 June 2003

The former Fiji Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, has denied having any role in the May 2000 coup or the army mutiny in November of that year.

In an interview with the Fiji Sun newspaper, Mr Rabuka says he regretted the coup took place and adds that he offered his assistance to the president at the time, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.

Mr Rabuka also explains his presence at the army camp soon after the November 2000 mutiny by saying he came to quell the uprising.

He said he had set up the now disbanded Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit that carried out the mutiny, but his offer to help was misconstrued.

He says he regrets the 2000 coup because Fiji continues to be driven by politicians who use the promotion of indigenous Fijians for very narrow personal objectives and aspirations.

Mr Rabuka also says he has bad feelings about those who inspired him to carry out his 1987 military coups.

He says he knows in hindsight they were there only for their personal gain.

The Sun says Mr Rabuka has named the people behind his 1987 coups, but has not published them.