The Fiji Labour has criticized the police for not taking seriously reports of a plot to assassinate Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry and three other Party executives.
It follows comments on Fiji TV last night by Police Commissioner Andrew Hughes that claims of a plot to assassinate the four Labour executives was merely a “political gimmick” in the lead up to the 2006 general elections.
Police will not be drawn into such political gimmicks, Commissioner Hughes said.
Responding to the statement Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said the Police Commissioner should focus on getting to the bottom of the allegations regarding the threats rather than politicizing the issue of the death threats and assassination hit list.
‘Commissioner Hughes was given a briefing as well as further documentation by the FLP. The onus is now on him to use all resources at his disposal to investigate and take necessary action regarding the death threats.
“He should desist from making political statements about it and get on with the job of investigating the very serious nature of the threats against FLP’s senior officials.
“Even the military commander on Wednesday ((05/01/05) said that there was still threat of further instability linked to the coup investigations and that the current threats against the FLP is also linked to the party’s strident calls for the perpetrators of the May 2000 coup to be brought to justice.
Obviously many persons implicated in the May 2000 coup have a lot to lose and will do anything to quell the voices of those who want them brought to justice. That is the real issue facing the nation at present in regards to national security.
The police force has a duty to take any threat against elected officials very seriously and to ensure that all such matters, regardless of its gravity, are duly investigated and appropriately dealt with,” said Mr Chaudhry.
Mr Chaudhry said the police must learn from the events of May 2000 and treat all threats against politicians extremely seriously. He said that the police had the resources, the intelligence and other skills not possessed by the FLP to address such matters.
‘Obviously, if the FLP were to do the job of the police re investigating such threats, what would be the point of having a police force?
“f there were procedural deficiencies in the way the FLP reported the matter, then that can be cured, but the substantive complaint must be exhaustively investigated by the police,” said Mr Chaudhry.