Army spokesman Major Neumi Leweni told Fiji Television’s 1 National News on Friday that the military and some government departments have been using official vehicles bearing private plates and that plain-clothe military intelligence officers are posted across the country.
Leweni said it should be expected that the military would have intelligence agents reporting back to them and played down the use of private-plate vehicles.
Bainimarama probe “shelved”
Meanwhile, the acting Police Commissioner Romanu Tikotikoca announced in a press conference on Friday afternoon that police had “shelved” an investigation into army commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama that began before the military ousted the government.
Bainimarama’s threats against Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase’s government late last year prompted a sedition investigation that was underway when the army commander staged his coup on December 5, 2006.
That investigation has now been called off in the interests of “national security”, Tikotikoca said.
“At this moment, one must understand that national security supersedes all other issues. Therefore the concern of the police is the interest of public safety and security and our efforts at the moment is directed towards the maintenance of peace and stability in this nation and facilitate the return of democratically elected government.”
Arms shipment investigation
In another development, Tikotikoca revealed the files of the investigation into the army’s removal of 7.5 tonnes of ammunition from the
Police Director of Economic Crime Ravi Narayan said after the investigation “they realised a technical issue had been overlooked,” according to Legend FM.
He said they are now trying to get a “legal opinion” on whether the military have the authority to import arms without a license.
The importation of the ammunition from
Detention of police officers
Tikotikoca also labelled the arrest and six-day incarceration by the military of senior detective Waisea Tabakau who was involved in investigating Bainimarama’s seditious comments as a “misunderstanding” (as Legend FM puts it).
“Apparently this is an internal matter that we are going to solve and hopefully we will come to a mutual understanding,” Tikotikoca said.
Tabakau was being questioned at Queen Elizabeth Barracks before his release on Thursday.
The military were also searching for other police officers involved in investigating the military over its threats to oust Qarase.
And in other news…
Meanwhile, after all the gloomy news out of
Fijilive reports that the military is investigating the source of rumours that Land Force Commander Colonel Pita Driti and army commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama had a “fist-fight”.
Colonel Driti laughed at suggestions he had an argument with Bainimarama, according to Fijilive.
“I heard rumours like that too last week that we had a fight following a heated argument. There was nothing like that,” he told Fijilive.
“We know that a group of people are spreading rumours. We are investigating.”
The rumour has been circulating on the Fiji Village Talk forum since last week after somebody posted a message saying Driti had been admitted to hospital after a “punch up” with Bainimarama and his bodyguards.
The “group of people” Driti is referring to is probably the anonymous users of Fiji Village Talk.