26 May 2003

Fiji military denies threatening its commander over Seniloli case

11:29 am on 26 May 2003

Fiji's military is denying that its commander threatened the government with military intervention unless the coup-related prosecution of the vice president, Ratu Jope Seniloli, was allowed to go ahead.

The military spokesman, Warrant Officer, Neumi Leweni, has told Fiji TV that the commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, made no such threat.

The allegations are made in the current issue of the Australian magazine, The Bulletin.

The magazine says Commodore Bainimarama, has agreed to accept a diplomatic posting to Wellington in return for the prosecution of the vice president and his co-defendant to go ahead.

Warrant Officer Leweni says the commander will remain in office to see through the court martial of those accused of involvement in the coup and subsequent mutiny or until his contract expires in February next year.