back to news archives for 18-31 August, 2000
USP Journalism Programme
POLICE EYE JOURNALISTS IN LABASA PROBE

USP Journalism Online: http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/
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* Pacific Media Watch Online: http://www.pmw.c2o.org

SUVA: Fiji Islands police will investigate two journalists based in the
northern town of Labasa and businessmen in the wake of the insurrection
which has embroiled the Pacific country in the past three months, the
Fiji Sun reports.
A senior police officer speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed
this over the recent unrest on the northern island of Vanua Levu
yesterday. The newspaper did not name the journalists.
"The two journalists had been in close association with the rebels. They
were seen socialising and also seen in stolen vehicles driven by rebels
carrying arms on numerous occasions," he said.
"The law enforcement agencies have a fair knowledge of their involvement
and the journalists will have to do a lot of explaining because of
associating themselves on the record," the officer said.
The officer maintained that there had been sufficient information which
police required questioning the duo. But police needed more time before
questioning them.
"Not at this stage but certainly in due course. The allegations are
serious and we are still trying to establish the motive behind the close
association of the rebels and the journalists," he said.
"Some businessmen are also believed to be directly or indirectly
involved with the recent developments on Vanua Levu," he added.
The first phase of investigations saw the arrest and charges laid
against mutinous soldiers and rebels.
The second phase of investigations would be aimed at people who had
secretly supported the rebels and worked behind the scenes. These
included police officers, business people and chiefs.
* The rebel insurrection which began on May 19 continued on Vanua Levu
for some time after rebel spokesman George Speight and his key
ringleaders were arrested on the main island of Viti Levu on July 26 and
they have since been charged with treason.
+++niuswire

Title -- 2913 FIJI: Police eye journalists in probe
Date -- 22 August 2000
Byline -- None
Origin -- Pacific Media Watch
Source -- Fiji Sun, 22/8/00
Copyright -- FS
Status -- Unabridged
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