5 Nov 2007

More arrests threatened in Fiji over alleged plot against the government

6:27 am on 5 November 2007

Police in Fiji are threatening more arrests in connection with an alleged plot to assassinate the interim Prime Minister, commodore Frank Bainimarama, ministers of his interim cabinet and senior military officers

Police say employees of non-government organisations and a lawyer are among those who could be detained.

Those already arrested include the paramount chief of Naitasiri, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, who was convicted of inciting the November 2000 army mutiny but is now awaiting retrial.

Another is Ratu Inoke's brother-in-law and former senior army officer, Colonel Jone Baledrokadroka, who was alleged to have incited an army mutiny against Commodore Bainimarama in mid-January last year.

The group of 11 already detained includes New Zealand businessman, Ballu Khan, who has received hospital treatment after allegedly being assaulted by the military.

Another detained is the national director of the SDL party, Peceli Kinivuwai.

The police commissioner, Commodore Esala Teleni, has accused members of the group of being determined to carry out the plot and says the use of firearms and explosives was imminent.

Commodore Teleni says the individuals wanted to destabilize the peace and good order of Fiji to give certain neighbouring governments an excuse to interfere in the affairs of Fiji.