Threats force police chief to flee Fiji [possible military coup]
AUSTRALIAN Andrew Hughes, Fiji's Police Commissioner, was forced to flee the troubled Pacific nation amid "serious and specific" death threats to himself and his family.
Mr Hughes, his wife, Vicki, and two sons were secretly evacuated to Australia on Tuesday after a month at the centre of the political crisis.
Fiji military commander Frank Bainimarama is understood to be behind the threats after Mr Hughes launched a sedition investigation against him last month over moves to topple Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase if he did not meet certain demands.
Mr Hughes, who will hold a press conference in Cairns today, told The Australian yesterday he had no intention of resigning, despite Commodore Bainimarama's demands that Mr Qarase sack him.
But Mr Hughes said he had left Fiji because of the threats and advice from Mr Qarase, as well as Australian and New Zealand consular officials, that his departure might help calm the situation.
"There has been credible intelligence of a serious and specific threat against me and my family," he said.