8 Sep 2007

Family of Fiji's deposed PM reported to be in fear

7:16 am on 8 September 2007

Relatives and friends of Fiji's deposed prime minister are reported to be fearful for his safety and that of his family following the re-activation of the Public Emergency Regulations.

The Fiji Times quotes Laisenia Qarase's lawyer, Tevita Fa, as saying they are watching the situation closely and he has advised Mr Qarase not to make any statements.

The interim prime minister, Commodore Bainimarama, says their fears are misplaced although he says the emergency regulations are specifically to target people like Mr Qarase.

Mr Fa says there is a court order in place specifically to restrain the administration or the military from interfering with Mr Qarase's freedom of movement.

But the military spokesman, Lt Col Mosese Tikoitoga, says the court order is no longer valid because a stay has been obtained on it.

Lt Col Tikoitoga says the threat to Mr Qarase is dependent on him, but he need not worry if he is a law abiding citizen.