Fiji's military tells police chief to quit | india | Hindustan Times
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Fiji's military tells police chief to quit

india Updated: Nov 07, 2006 11:01 IST
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Frayed relations between Fiji's military and police worsened on Tuesday after an armed forces chief confirmed he had asked the police chief to quit, amid lingering political tensions and fears of a coup.

Late last week the acting military commander, Captain Esala Teleni, wrote to Police Commissioner Andrew Hughes asking him to resign after he accused the military of illegally taking a load of ammunition from the Suva wharves at gunpoint.

"Yes, I can confirm I wrote that letter," said Teleni, who was acting commander until Saturday, when military chief, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, returned from a three-week overseas trip.

"I told the commissioner that if he insists that the military should be investigated for the removal of the ammunition from the port of Suva last week, then in the interests of justice and fair play, he must step down," Teleni said.

The military said it was wrong that Hughes was both complainant and investigator in the case.

Also last week, Hughes had refused to issue an import licence for 7.5 tonnes of ammunition unless the military publicly promised the ammunition would not be used against the government.

Tensions between police and the armed forces also worsened after Hughes said last week he was considering charging Bainimarama with sedition over his repeated threats to force the government to resign.

Hughes said he had no intention of quitting.

"I can assure everyone I have no intention of doing that," he told Fijian radio.

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