24 Nov 2006

Fiji's police Commissioner admits he recommended military Commander be stood down

11:29 am on 24 November 2006

Fiji's police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, has admitted that he recommended that the military commander, Commodore Bainimarama, be stood down while police investigated him.

The admission came after Commodore Bainimarama accused Mr Hughes of having a hand in the failed government attempt to remove him earlier this month as part of a wider Australian conspiracy.

But the Fijilive news website quotes Mr Hughes as saying it is normal practice in the civil service and the disciplined forces to be stood down if an allegation of serious misconduct leveled against someone.

Mr Hughes says the police investigation into Commodore Bainimarama began after a complaint by the home affairs minister, Josefa Vosanibola, following the military commander's outbursts against the government threatening to clean it up.

Meanwhile Mr Vosanibola has told local radio that the government is concerned over police claims that civil servants and former military officers are allegedly involved in inciting the military commander against the government.

Mr Vosanibola says they have to help the police to carry out their duties in this difficult situation.