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SUVA, Fiji Islands (September 12, 2002 – Radio Australia)---The family of Fiji coup leader George Speight says he would not have staged the events of May 2000 without military backing, and now feels betrayed.

Sam Speight, who replaced his younger brother in Parliament after winning a by-election, says George, who was in prison and prohibited from becoming a Member of Parliament following his election, would never have staged the coup alone.

"No man in his right mind will undertake such action as drastic as this without military backing.

"The military, from our perspective, had a major role in this overthrow," said Sam Speight.

Turncoat soldiers

Sam Speight goes on to say, "As you know, all coups in Fiji are military related, and there's no way an ordinary person will take it upon himself to do such a thing.

"At this stage, George has done his bit. He sees no reason whatsoever on his part to expose anybody."

"The events of 2000 were supported by the Fijian people and institutions, so this is a sad tale of betrayal."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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