30 Aug 2007

Fiji interim prime minister dismisses former PM's death threat allegations

10:02 am on 30 August 2007

Fiji's interim prime minister and military commander has dismissed allegations of a death threat made by the deposed prime minister, Laisenia Qarase.

Commodore Bainimarama has told Fiji TV the military is not in the business of making death threats because that would be stupid.

Mr Qarase claimed on Tuesday he had put his planned return to Suva on hold after someone who said he was from the military telephoned him and told him he would be killed on his arrival in the capital.

He said he reported the threat to his lawyer, Tevita Fa.

Commodore Bainimarama says he has no knowledge of any such death threats.

He says the official statement from the military was that if Mr Qarase wanted to come to Suva, he was free to do so.

The military spokesman, Lt Col Mosese Tikoitoga, said Mr Qarase's claims were a publicity stunt aimed at generating sympathy and support

He says the military is disappointed Mr Qarase went to the media with his allegations and not the police.