20 Jul 2006

Fiji coup convict accuses Labour Party leader of causing 2000 coup

8:37 am on 20 July 2006

A former Fiji coup convict has called on the Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, to apologise to the nation for being the cause of the year 2000 coup.

Maciusela Naisogobuli has told the Fiji Sun newspaper that unless Mr Chaudhry apologises, the divisions in the Labour Party will only worsen.

Mr Naisogobuli has called on Mr Chaudhry to explain his backing for a commission of inquiry into the coup.

He says he was a member of a security detail set up by Mr Chaudhry when he was prime minister to spy on the activities of other political parties and monitor the atmosphere in the nation.

Mr Naisogobuli says surveillance items were purchased and the results of the surveillance were given to Mr Chaudhry in a report.

He says Mr Chaudhry ignored a warning in the report not to allow a march by nationalists on May 19, 2000 and not to convene parliament that day.

Mr Naisogobuli says Mr Chaudhry instead chose to rely on the then police commissioner, Col Isikia Savua, for security advice and became the cause of the coup.