2 Nov 2007

UN admits role in stopping Fiji murder suspects from flying to Iraq

2:14 pm on 2 November 2007

The United Nations says it had a role in stopping a group of soldiers who were charged with murder in Fiji from traveling to take part in peace-keeping duties.

Eight soldiers and a police officer will appear in court this month charged with murder and assault, after the death of a teenager in Nadi earlier this year.

The spokesperson for the UN Secretary General, Farhan Haq, says the UN received information about criminal investigations into the soldiers and seven of them were stopped.

"As per standard UN policy and procedures and in close cooperation with the Fijian authorities, seven individuals were prevented from leaving the country and will not be part of the UN deployment. The issue now rests with the Fijian authorities."

Farhan Haq says the United Nations still has concerns about the political situation in Fiji following last year's coup and that could affect future Fiji deployments.