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Interim Minister Faces Insurrection Questions

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SUVA: A minister in Fiji's military installed interim administration will be questioned by police for his alleged involvement in a barricade during the the country's recent insurrection, according to the Fiji Times.

Interim Agriculture Minister Apisai Tora, a founding leader of the radical Taukei Movement, allegedly led the roadblock at Sabeto at midnight on July 12.

Chiefs and villagers of Sabeto closed the Queens Highway, the major highway connecting the capital Suva with western Viti Levu island, while demanding that Ratu Josefa Iloilo be appointed President.

The Fiji Times reported today that Tora had said then that soldiers manning the checkpoint at Sabeto junction would be asked to return to barracks.

"We are going to do this peacefully and nobody will be harmed," Tora had reportedly said.

The barricade at Queens Highway was lifted 24 hours later after Iloilo was appointed President.

Divisional Crime Officer Western Superintendent Josaia Resiga confirmed that investigations had started and that "people involved" would be questioned.

The Fiji Times also reported that the Public Service Commission had given all heads of departments until December to complete their reports on staff accused of taking part in the May 19 insurrection.

Commission Secretary Anare Jale said 40 civil servants - including High Commissioner to Malaysia Adi Samanunu Cakobau - would have to answer coup-related allegations made against them.

Meanwhile, the Public Service Association general secretary Rajeshwar Singh yesterday presented his submissions to a tribunal investigating the alleged role of Police Commissioner Isikia Savua in the attempted coup.

Singh reportedly supported the call for a commission of inquiry instead of a closed hearing.


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