FIJI COUP INVESTIGATIONS FAR FROM OVER

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SUVA, Fiji (fijivillage.com/PINA, Dec. 24) - Police investigations into the 2000 Fiji coup are far from over, Acting Police Commissioner Moses Driver said.

Driver said there are some cases in which the Director of Public Prosecutions Office has referred files back to the police seeking more evidence.

More people will likely be questioned after new evidence is revealed in the coup cases before the courts, he said.

Questions have been raised in Fiji over the apparent lack of action against some prominent people whose names have come up in recent court cases.

But Driver said all the new information and evidence has been taken in by police and people should expect more people to be charged.

However, he said it is premature for him to comment on this as it might be unfair to people when standing trial.

Driver is currently heading the force after the resignation of the commissioner at the time of the coup, Isikia Savua. Savua, a former army officer posted to the United Nations in New York, is becoming Fiji's Ambassador at the United Nations.

Driver previously led Fiji's detectives as head of the criminal investigation department. As a detective he was involved in a number of high-profile investigations.

Coup frontman George Speight and a number of his supporters have already been jailed for their part in the May 2000 coup and unrest which followed.

In the coup Fiji's first ethnic Indian prime minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, and his government were taken hostage by rebel indigenous Fijian gunmen.

With the government held hostage and unrest growing in some parts of Fiji, the Fiji Military Forces declared martial law. An interim government was appointed, backed by the military and the indigenous Fijian Great Council of Chiefs.

This government held power until Fiji returned to parliamentary government following general elections in September 2001. Fiji is now governed by an indigenous Fijian-dominated government led by Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase.

December 26, 2002 

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