back to new archives for 15-17 June 2000
FijiLive
No apology from army chief
Thursday, June 15, 2000

ARMY Commander Commodore Frank Bainimarama will not apologise to
rebel leader George Speight said army spokesperson Captain Ratu Eroni
Volavola.

Mr Speight had demanded a written apology from Commodore
Bainimarama following an incident when two vehicles, one in which the
rebel leader was travelling in was shot at. This resulted after the vehicles
failed to stop at the Muanikau checkpoint.

Captain Volavola said the army saw no reason to apologise to Mr Speight.
"Why should we apologise to him, he knows the rules and he is refusing to
follow them," he said. Under martial law, meaning the army is in charge,
people need to follow rules laid out by them.

Mr Speight has also claimed that there are plans within the army to
assassinate him. Captain Volavola also refuted this "why should we want to
do something like this we have got better things to do." Meanwhile the
army is still conducting investigations into the shooting incident. This is
part of normal procedures taken by the army everytime a shot is fired.

The army has also confirmed that soldiers involved in the shooting incident
will not be disciplined. The second back-up vehicle which also muscled its
way through the checkpoint was apprehended. Its occupants had to be
released after the hostages were threatened with violence.

Using the hostages as trump cards adviser to Mr Speight Ratu Timoci
Silatolu rang the RFMF Operations Cell demanding for their release for
the safety of the hostages. Moving into damage control the army returned
the vehicles with its occupants to parliament.

Fiji's Daily Post

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last revision June 15, 2000