8 Sep 2008

Fiji Police urged to take treason complaint against interim regime seriously

3:16 pm on 8 September 2008

Fiji's ousted Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, says police must follow up on an official complaint laid against Fiji's interim Prime Minister or risk seen as biased.

Last Friday Mr Qarase and others have lodged a formal treason complaint against Commodore Frank Bainimarama, senior military figures and members of the interim government

However the complaint has since been described by Police Commissioner Commodore Esala Teleni, who is included in the complaint, as an abuse of process.

But Mr Qarase says police should not take sides.

"They did something in the year 2000, in which we were the government of the day. We went out to investigate all those implicated in that coup. And if they don't do it this time, then of course it show there is a different rule of law applied to the people who are in the leadership now and a different rule for the rest of the country."

Laisenia Qarase says they have decided to file the complaint because the two-year deadline which applies to such complaints would lapse this December.

Mr Qarase says he is also frustrated at the delay in a ruling on his High Court challenge over the legality of the coup, the trial for which ended six months ago.