NZ’s McCully in Fiji

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 11:50 21/07/2012

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New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully has arrived in Fiji just days after security authorities raided Auckland homes claiming to have credible evidence of a plot to kill coup leader Voreqe Bainimarama.

McCully told state owned Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) this morning that he was in the country to get an update on progress toward democracy which was lost in Bainimarama's 2006 coup.

FBC say the newly established Constitutional Commission had refused to meet with McCully but he was hopeful of meeting the regime's foreign minister, Inoke Kubuabola.

"I got a range of meetings," he told the broadcaster.

"The most important one is the meeting with my Fijian counterpart Ratu Inoke Kubuabola. We may have something to say after that meeting."

McCully has made no comment, neither confirming nor denying, on the raid on Auckland homes. Fiji nationals claim the Security Intelligence Service and Police linked a plot to the visit to New Zealand two weeks ago of an exiled Fijian colonel, Tevita Mara.

Mara, who now lives in Tonga, fled the country after the military regime claimed he was plotting a coup.

Bainimarama is currently out of the country but McCully is expected to meet the military's attorney general Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He sparked controversy this week by demanding that any new constitution give immunity to prosecution to members of the police and military for coups and uprisings going back to 1987.

Constitution Commission head Yash Ghai said Sayed-Khaiyum was undermining the process of drafting a new constitution.

Ghai said immunity was most unusual and undesirable and the Fiji people had not been consulted.

Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday launched a counter-attack saying Yash Ghai and this commission were "undermining the rule of law".

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