FIJI CHURCH LEADER DETAINED, QUESTIONED BY POLICE

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Methodist Reverend Lasaro ‘doing very suspicious things’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 14, 2009) – Fiji police have confirmed they have detained a leader of the country’s leading church for allegedly flouting the military regime’s emergency regulations.

The director of police operations, Waisea Tabakau, says Police are questioning the former Methodist Church president, Reverend Manasa Lasaro.

He told local radio that Reverend Lasaro had been doing very suspicious things which warranted police investigation.

Reverend Lasaro, a conservative nationalist, supported the indigenous Fijian cause in the coups of 1987 and 2000.

He has been at the forefront of the Methodist Church’s opposition to the coup in December 2006.

Mr. Tabakau says Reverend Lasaro had been taken into custody for allegedly breaching the emergency regulations imposed by Commodore Frank Bainimarama after his regime abrogated the constitution and sacked the judiciary last month.

He has not given any details of the alleged breaches.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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