28 Nov 2006

Fiji's police commissioner denies reports he asked Interpol to arrest military Commander

8:50 am on 28 November 2006

Fiji's police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, is denying local media reports that he is asking Interpol to arrest the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, in New Zealand.

Mr Hughes says nor will he make any attempt to arrest the commander on his arrival later today in Fiji as the Director of Public Prosecutions is yet to advise whether charges should be laid in the investigation for possible sedition.

The police commissioner says the sight of armed soldiers wandering through the central business district in Suva yesterday has created a sense of alarm despite the army saying it was part of their usual exercises.

Mr Hughes also says he is moving from location to location and his family has been repatriated to Australia as a result of threats.

"My family have been repatriated to Australia and it's nothing to do with the general security situation in Fiji but it was in relation to some pointed threats that arose from our friends in the coup planning area of the RFMF so it was a prudent move to send them back to Australia and I'm moving between locations at the moment."

The police commissioner says the commander should take up the prime minister's offer to sit down and talk through the situation.

Mr Hughes says any action the police takes in regards to the military will be through negotiation.