19 Dec 2005

Former Fiji nationalist says indigenous businessmen behind planning bombings before coup

4:24 pm on 19 December 2005

A former senior member of the Fijian Nationalist Party has implicated two prominent indigenous Fijian businessmen in plans to bomb Nadi International Airport and strategic locations in Suva.

Josaia Waqabaca has told the Fiji Sun newspaper that the plans were made in a Nadi hotel room when the Chaudhry government came to power after the 1999 general elections.

Mr Waqabaca says he, explosives expert and former coup convict, Maciu Navakasuasua, and current coup prisoner, Jioji Bakoso, were given money to execute the plan from which the three later withdrew.

He says that was the start of the instability which later manifested itself in the May 2000 coup.

Mr Waqabaca says in his statement to police he revealed the identities of the two businessmen and the number of the hotel room in Nadi where the payment was made.

Mr Waqabaca says police should have interrogated the two because it is from there that they will get to the main players of the May 2000 political crisis.

In an earlier report, former coup convict Maciu Navakasuasua had named the two businessmen as the chairman of the state-owned Fiji Pine Limited and the Fiji Hardwood Corporation, Navitalai Naisoro, and the chief executive of Strategic Air Services Limited, Watisoni Nata.

But both Mr Naisoro and Mr Nata had denied the allegations, saying that they did not know Mr Navakasuasua.

Mr Navakasuasua, who now lives in Australia, says he is willing to return to Fiji to prove his allegations.