5 Jun 2004

Fiji police beaten up on orders of Speight's officer

9:15 am on 5 June 2004

Fiji police are investigating a complaint that eight of their officers were locked up in the Labasa police station in the aftermath of the 2000 coup.

It's alleged the officers were then brutally beaten by George Speight's rebels, on orders from one of their own sergeants.

The police spokesman, Mesake Koroi, that the sergeant was informed by the leader of Speight's gunmen in parliament, Ilisoni Ligairi, that he'd been appointed as the most senior officer in the area.

Mr Koroi told Radio Legend the sergeant then cooperated, by locking up his own men and assaulting them in July 2000 while Speight was still holding the Chaudhry government hostage.

Speight's rebels seized many of the police stations in Vanua Levu at the time.

The police commissioner's special task force, which is investigating the role, of police in the coup, has travelled to Labasa to investigate the complaint.