20 May 2004

Fiji military critical of commission of inquiry process

4:35 pm on 20 May 2004

Fiji's military says it should have been left to deal with allegations against its commander internally before any commission of inquiry.

It has criticised the process that decided on a commission of inquiry into allegations that commander Commodore Frank Bainimarama planned a coup last year, describing it as a waste of time and state money.

Three out of five senior suspended military officers claim that the commander wanted to overthrow the government, if his term, as commander, was not renewed.

Commodore Bainimarama has criticised the government for deciding on a commission of inquiry without first asking the police to investigate the allegations.

The military spokesman Ned Taito says the military is disappointed that the National Security Council meeting did not consult it

"The meetings would have been an ideal opportunity for the military forces to make a presentation on the appreciation process that we conduct whenever there is a threat of any sort, Unfortunately it seems that certain parties are dancing to the tune being played by the media and have been immature about these issues."

Fiji Military spokesman Ned Taito