26 Aug 2004

Former Fiji MP calls for investigation into PM over coup knowledge

3:15 pm on 26 August 2004

A former Fiji government minister and now senator, Jim Ah Koy, has called on police to investigate allegations that the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, had prior knowlege of the Speight coup.

Senator Ah Koy made his call in the Upper House on Thursday, referring to the allegations first made in the Lower House by Labour MP Poseci Bune.

Mr Bune had attributed his information to another former senator, Adi Finau Tabakaucoro, who was with Mr Qarase on the day of the coup.

Senator Ah Koy said Adi Finau elaborated further on a meeting in the Fijian Holdings Limited office in July 2000 which discussed plans to remove President Iloilo where Senator Apisai Tora was also present.

He said that, and the fact that the 13-million US dollar farming assistance scam took place while Mr Tora was interim agriculture minister, would explain the viciousness of his attack on the police commissioner this week.

Senator Ah Koy said "those that hide should be dug up".

He said that it was "indeed a blessing to have someone like Andrew Hughes who was not afraid to do his job as police commissioner."

Mr Qarase had angrily denied prior knowledge of the coup when the allegations were first levelled.