Military chief to face investigation

  • 19th May 2004
  • 2004
  • // Display comment count + link

Fiji Military Forces commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, will be investigated for allegations that he wanted to topple the government if his work contract was not to be renewed early this year.

His Commander -in- Chief and President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, will appoint an independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate the claims made by senior army officers.

The commission will have three members- two locals and a chairperson from overseas. It is expected to complete its work within three months of appointment and it will have the power to summon people before it.

The decision comes after a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday (18 May, 2004).

On Monday, the National Security Council met to discuss the allegations, which Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase described as serious.

The special meeting chaired by Mr. Qarase, agreed to refer the matter to Cabinet. The council was made up of the Prime Minister, Home Affairs Minister, Joketani Cokanasiga, the Attorney -General, Qoriniasi Bale and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kaliopate Tavola.

“The National Security Council considered a submission by the Minister for Home Affairs, Joketani Cokanasiga, on allegations by several senior RFMF officers that Commodore Bainimarama, had issued instructions for the army to overthrow the Government,” a government statement said on Monday (17 May, 2004).