13 Jul 2005

Fiji Police Commissioner says there's close cooperation with the Military

6:51 pm on 13 July 2005

The Fiji Police Commissioner says comments by the Fiji Military should not be read as an indication it is about to take the law into its own hands over the contentious Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

The Military has spoken out strongly this week over the Bill, which would provide for amnesty and pardons for those involved in political activities such as the 2000 coup.

The Military Commander, Frank Bainimarama, is out of Fiji and could not be contacted for comment.

But the Police Commissioner, Andrew Hughes, says Mr Bainimarama is just warning that no one should seek to destabilise Fiji.

Mr Hughes says he has regular meetings with Mr Bainimarama, they work closely together and have a shared responsibility for national security.

"He's certainly made it known that he stands certainly ready, willing and able to provide any support that we may request of him in the event that things deteriorate, but again, my assessment here is that we're not at that point, he's simply making it known that he is prepared to stand behind the police."

Mr Hughes says the current debate in Fiji is healthy even if it is robust.

And he says he's been reassured the Government will listen to submissions on the Bill.