15 Jul 2005

Fiji police sceptical over reports of mercenary force on standby for government

1:57 pm on 15 July 2005

Fiji police say they have no knowledge of a mercenary force offering to defend the Fiji government from the military if the Reconciliation and Unity Bill is passed.

The Fiji Sun reports that the offer has been made by an Israeli trained Fijian security officer, Viliame Raqio, of the Tel Aviv-based company, Global Security International.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, says as one of the key security advisors to government, he would have expected to have been informed about such a move.

Mr Raqio is quoted as saying his protection squad is awaiting a call from the government, if the military tries to stop the passing of the Bill.

Mr Raqio says he briefed the prime minister three weeks ago and has had talks with the minister for home affairs, Josefa Vosanibola.

He says he only needs six days to assemble his force, saying that it's time someone stood up to the threats made by the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.