Australia rubbish claims of involvement in plot against Bainimarama

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Sydney, Nov 5 (UNI) Australia today rubbished suggestions that it was involved in in an assassination attempt on Fiji's coup leader Frank Bainimarama.

''It is completely false to suggest that the Australian government would consider assassinating Commodore Bainimarama and coup leaders in Fiji or that we would in any way wish to see any death occur in Fiji,'' Mr Downer was quoted by the official Australia Broadcasting Corporation as saying.

''And it doesn't do any credit to Commodore Bainimarama's regime to be suggesting that countries like Australia and New Zealand want to go around assassinating them,'' he said.

''It's a completely absurd proposition.'' Mr Downer joined New Zealand political leaders in rejecting suggestions that the two countries were helping finance an assassination attempt on the Fijian leader.

Fiji police chief, Commodore Esala Teleni, yesterday arrested a host of people, including New Zealand businessman Ballu Khan, for allegedly planning to kill Bainimarama, who seized power in Fiji last December.

Teleni pointed the finger at ''neighbouring countries'' who were financing non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and were implicated in the plot to kill Bainimarama.

UNI

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