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Terrorist Plans Fundraising Trip To Aust, NZ

Issue No: 906 3 July 2001

Terrorist Ratu Inoke Takiveikata planned to visit Australia and New Zealand to raise funds for a religious project.

This was revealed by Takiveikata when he applied to the court for permission to travel abroad. Takiveikata has been charged with offences related to the 2 November failed mutiny and attempted coup. The Magistrate's Court had relaxed the bail conditions for Takiveikata to travel abroad.

Meanwhile the elected Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry has called on the Australian and NZ governments to not to allow Takiveikata to travel to their countries.

Chaudhry said that he would like to see the smart sanctions imposed to stop such tours. He stated:

"Takiveitaka has been charged with extremely serious crimes arising from the tragic mutiny of last November in which innocent people died. It is believed that he was the instigator of the mutiny, using his high office in Fijian society to sway men to commit treason."

"I do not believe that he should be allowed to travel abroad let alone given the opportunity to solicit funds for his political goals."

"I am asking the governments in Canberra and Wellington to bar him from visiting these countries."

It is not known whether the two governments have approved travel visas for takiveikata. The NZ Embassy in Fiji has confirmed that it is implementing the smart sanctions. The Embassy, however, could not confirm on the specific case of Takiveikata.

Takiveikata, a high chief of the Naitasiri Province, is also a vice-president of Laisenia Qarase's new Fijian nationalist party Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL). Caretaker PM Qarase is the leader of the party.


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