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Report implicates Rabuka, Savua as leaders of coup

Report implicates Rabuka, Savua as leaders of attempted coup
Issue No: 687 19 April 2001

A 5-page report written by a soldier points to Sitiveni Rabuka and Isikia Savua as the main persons behind the first attempted coup of last year.

The report, believed to be written by a soldier charged with mutiny, states:

"This is wrong number three, that is using a whales tooth (tabua) to remove the President (commander in chief) from his position. The commander with his group of staff officers, plus the commissioner of police, director of special branch and former prime minister were all part of the group. They had asked the Commander-in-Chief to give them twenty-one (21) days to clean up the mess before bringing him back into his presidential post. Other parts of the negotiation on board will not be reveal due to its sensitivity."

"To be true what was done that night was mutiny but the method it was applies was diplomatic, not to hurt the former commander in chief.."

"Its about time, the commander with his group, must come up clean and let the nation know what really happened on board. Steve Rabuka must also answer question why he had acted as Rt. Mara's matanivanua that night."

Weeks earlier, the Daily Post's Acting Editor, Mesake Koroi had stated that the real faces behind the attempted coup were of those people who had convinced the Military Commander to ask the President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara to vacate the Government House. It was then widely known that the persons who had plotted this were Rabuka and Police Commissioner Isikia Savua.

Last week, Lt.Col Viliame Seruvakula also stated that those people behind the attempted coups of 19 May and 2 November were still free. He stated that "there are failed businessmen, chiefs and politicians [behind the coup attempts]. It is going to surface in the investigations.The people in Nukulau, none of those people came out with the ideas to plot a coup to take place. They are men in the middle. People who came up with the idea are still walking the streets, working and getting paid today."

The anonymous report also alleges that Col. Jeremaia Waqanisau, had also supported the terrorists. It states that the army Commander

"called a special meeting to be attended by all RFMF officers. He relayed to his fellow officers that he agreed with an idea to negotiate with George Speight, for all civillians to return home and let the army to complete the takeover. A group led by Waqanisau opposed the commander and they later convince him to change his decision.

"Waqanisau later led a group of officers and non commissioned officers to present a tabua at parliament showing their support. One wonders why they did not agree with commander and went ahead with a presentation at parliament. During the survey I found out that this group are still with the army and they are receiving fortnight salaries apart form their pension package. They are only with the army to fill their pockets and not to serve."

Waqanisau is now the Permanent Secretary in the President's Office. Since taking office, he has been vocal in his support for the Qarase regime. Earlier this week, he had stated that the President's Office backed the Chief Justice. The CJ has been asked to resign by the Fiji Law Society for subverting law and justice in the country. Waqanisau also was reported as saying that the President's Office has issued instructions for the Constitution Review Commission to reconvene its work. In January the High Court had ordered that the CRC not proceed with its sittings.

The anonymous report is intended to solicit support from those implicated in it, to use their influence to get the soldiers charged with mutiny, released. It is also believed that a high chief from Naitasiri is used as a go-between for this purpose.

END

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