29 Jul 2005

Fiji police upset by New Zealand television report of imminent coup

10:37 am on 29 July 2005

Fiji's police commissioner has expressed grave concern at a Television New Zealand report which claimed the political temperature in the country was at boiling point and a coup was imminent.

The report on Tuesday night resulted in hundreds of New Zealanders cancelling their Fiji holidays the next morning.

Radio Legend reports that Andrew Hughes has rejected the TV report's claim that intelligence services in Fiji are on high alert and says the disciplined services are satisfied with the current security situation.

He says they are monitoring closely the ongoing discussions and debate surrounding the Reconciliation and Unity Bill, but it's all been very peaceful and there have been no acts of violence and no civil disorder.

Mr Hughes says police want to question Vilikesa Raqio, the man claiming to be an Israeli trained security officer who has been offering to protect the Qarase government against Fiji's military.

The commissioner says police are concerned about claims that the government is entertaining an Israeli connection because they have no knowledge of this.