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Fiji Time: 4:31 AM on Thursday 17 April

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Fiji military denies detention claims

1930 FJT
Thursday, December 07, 2006

Update: 7.30PM The Fiji Military has denied reports that it will detain and interrogate Great Council of Chiefs chairman Ratu Ovini Bokini.

Military spokesman Major Neumi Leweni denied the claim after he was asked to comment on reports that more than 300 villagers had blocked the entrance to Tavualevu Village, saying the military was coming to take Ratu Ovini away.

"Weve said since day one that webe never had the need to go after such people," he said.

"we are not going to start now that's not true. It's not going to happen."

He did not comment further.

Ratu Ovini is paramount chief of the Tavua district in Ba Province. His traditional seat is in Tavualevu Village.

A spokesman for the villagers, Apisalome Ulusova, said it was their duty to see that their chief was safe.

Divisional Police Commander Emori Laqai said lawmen would only be involved if the law was breached.

"At the moment everything there is normal and peaceful," he said.