Matthew Backhouse

Matthew Backhouse is an APNZ news reporter based in Wellington.

SIS quizzes man over Fiji death plot

Fiji's self appointed prime minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama has been the target of an alleged assassination plot. Photo / File
Fiji's self appointed prime minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama has been the target of an alleged assassination plot. Photo / File

New Zealand intelligence agents have questioned a former Fijian Cabinet minister over an alleged plot to assassinate military leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

Movement for Democracy in Fiji leader Rajesh Singh said four people from the Security Intelligence Service served him with a search warrant and seized his computer, phone and a photograph.

Mr Singh told One News the SIS questioned him over an alleged plot to assassinate Commodore Bainimarama and Fiji's Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Mr Singh denies any knowledge of the alleged plot and said he did not condone it.

Fiji has been under the control of a military regime since Commodore Bainimarama seized power in a coup in 2006.

Mr Singh said that he would lodge a complaint with the Human Rights Commission and the Ombudsman.

He believed his group had been targeted by the agents because of its association with Fijian military defector Lieutenant Colonel Ratu Tevita Mara, who is self-exiled in Tonga.

Colonel Tevita Mara, who is also alleged to be part of the assassination plot, has denied any knowledge of it.

Mr Singh said the SIS was accompanied by plainclothes police officers, but a police spokesman declined to comment and referred questions to the Prime Minister's office.

Prime Minister John Key, who is also Minister in Charge of the SIS, would not comment.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum told the Herald last night that he had not known anything about the police searches or an alleged plot until somebody sent him New Zealand media reports about it.

Police had not advised him of any plot.

"I have absolutely no idea of it. This is the first I've heard about it."

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n2 at 29 Jul 2014 08:17:37 Processing Time: 504ms