The Army Commander continues to face allegations that he had planned to overthrow the SDL government. The media claims to have access to confidential documents that implicate the army Commander Frank Bainimarama.
It is alleged that the Commander was the authoritative figure who directed Colonel George Kadavulevu to plan the course of action in staging another coup during the budget briefing on December 16 last year. Chief of Staff and Commander Fiji Navy, Timoci Tuituba Koroi made this allegation in a letter to the Home Affairs Minister in April of this year.
Commodore Koroi and Colonel Kadavulevu were two of the five senior officers who were sent on leave earlier this year after initially making the allegations against the Commander.
In the same letter, Commander Koroi speculated that officers who were unsure of their stance on plans by the military to oust the government, were asked to resign.
The same letter says that during the commander’s conference on December 18 last year Commodore Bainimarama said, “he would not accept people sitting on the fence”.
Commander Koroi said the Commodore gave him a choice to resign or give up his role as head of the navy after he announced his intention not to support the proposed coup. He said that following this he was removed from the planning group preparing for the coup and was advised to take leave effective January 2, 2004.
Three other senior officers were also told to go on leave early this year by Commodore Bainimarama namely Lieutenant Colonel Samulea Raduva, Colonel Alfred Tuatoko and Lieutenant Colonel Akuila Buadromo.
Later in May, the five made claims that Commodore Bainimarama allegedly threatened to overthrow the Government early this year if his contract was not renewed. According to Mr. Bainimarama the officers refused to pledge their allegiance to him thus they were sent on leave and take the honourable path of resigning their posts.