22 Apr 2005

Fiji military tight-lipped about allegations facing soldier recalled from Iraq

3:40 pm on 22 April 2005

Fiji's military is recalling the head of its troops in Iraq for insubordination but is remaining tight-lipped about the nature of the allegations against him.

Lieutenant Colonel Meli Sabulinayau had been commanding a contingent of Fijian troops deployed to guard United Nations officers in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

A military spokesman, Captain Neumi Leweni, says Commodore Frank Bainimarama has recalled the lieutenant colonel but it's unclear exactly when he'll return to Fiji.

Captain Leweni says once he has returned a military board of inquiry will look into the matter.

"He's being recalled for insubordination and that insubordination will be put to a board of inquiry, because that's only an allegation. His side of the story will also be heard."

Mr Leweni said it would be inappropriate for him to elaborate on the allegations at this stage.