NEW Zealand's Security Intelligence Service (SIS) illegally raided the home of former Fijian cabinet minister Rajesh Singh in Auckland last year, NZ First leader Peters has claimed in Parliament
| Winston Peters |
By MICHAEL FIELD
For a second day Peters has claimed there has been co-operation between the New Zealand SIS and the Fiji military which overthrew the country's elected government in 2006 and runs the country by decree.
Peters' claims are based in part on a High Court judgment released yesterday over the cancellation of a New Zealander's passport, and copies of text messages sent to Mt Roskill dairy owner Rajesh Singh, a former Fiji Government cabinet minister.
On July 17 last year Fairfax Media revealed the SIS and police had raided several addresses in Mt Roskill of known Fiji democracy activitists, including Singh's. Officers took his daughter's laptop and mobile phones after he was told he was being investigated over a plot to kill Bainimarama.
In question time today, Peters asked acting Prime Minister Bill English whether the SIS and the Fiji military had co-ordinated the raids. "It would be very surprising if the New Zealand Government made any arrangement of any nature with the Fijian Government," English replied.
Peters then asked why the commander of Fiji Land Forces Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga sent a "text to Mr Singh saying he was about to be raided by the SIS at the exact time the raid was happening".
English replied "I have no idea." In the general debate Peters said New Zealand had a serious situation on its hands over some kind of deal struck with the Fiji military. "In short the Fiji military knew the SIS was raiding an Auckland property," he said.
Peters said Singh had received a series of text messages from Tikoitoga over the days following the raids, which were chilling and evidence of co-operation. In the texts Tikoitoga noted media coverage of the raid and told Singh "word you could be deported".
"Bro you not worth a bullet cause u don't deserve it," the text released by Peters said.
The colonel explained military strategy and ended that text: "Feel sorry for you bro but about time you think of strategy to save u and ur family." "
He said Singh had been a thorn in New Zealand's side. "Bro terrorist? We did raid you, it was nz ss.. so ask them." Tikoitoga later said the SIS raids were over the plot to kill Bainimarama and said "you will be deported soon for being a threat to NZ government." Peters asked why Prime Minister John Key had got the Fijians involved.
"Why has he has got the Fijians involved in conspiracies to break the law in our country with the SIS and GCSB [Government Communications Security Bureau] as well?" he asked.
Peters referred to the High Court case which had followed an order to a New Zealand citizen to surrender his passport under a section of the Passport Act on "national security".
The man, known as "F" in the High Court ruling was "formerly a senior public servant in Fiji". He lives in Sydney and was in Auckland at the time of SIS raids.
At the time, Singh said the security officials told him they had "credible evidence" that planning for the assassination took place in Auckland during the visit of a runaway Fiji Army colonel Tevita Uluilakeba Mara.
"F" was alleged in Fiji to have helped Mara escape ahead of arrest for allegedly trying to overthrow Bainimarama.
Yesterday's High Court decision says on July 16 last year, a day before the raids, "F" was "notified that the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs had ordered that his New Zealand passport be surrendered following a report from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation."
Justice David Collins sitting in the High Court in Wellington dealing with an issue of costs of the case said in his decision that New Zealand Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain issued the notice "because of concerns F posed to New Zealand's national security".
"Although notified of his right to appeal within 28 days, F feared doing so would endanger his family in Fiji," Justice Collins said.
Soon after, Tremain rescinded the decision to recall the passport. The High Court ruled yesterday that costs would be shared. 'F' has declined comment on the ruling and on Peters' allegations.
F v Minister of Internal Affairs  NZHC 2117 (20 August 2013)
New Zealand First Leader
4 September 2013
General Debate Speech
4 September 2013
We have a most serious situation on our hands.
Once more a top security agency has acted illegally and it’s time for the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister to front up.
In July last year the Fijian military dictatorship contacted the New Zealand Government regarding the Freedom and Democracy Movement.
Some kind of deal was struck.
The Security and Intelligence Service and police raided a house where a former Fiji cabinet minister Rajesh Singh was living.
The SIS officer refused to produce a search warrant.
They took a computer and a cellphone.
By some strange coincidence that only the Prime Minister can explain – a Fijian military officer sent a text to the former cabinet minister that showed he knew the SIS raid was taking place.
In short the Fiji military knew the SIS was raiding an Auckland property.
There were other texts a couple of days later.
Some are chilling.
[The following is an exact reproduction of the texts]
1. Hmmmm..yeah all over Fiji news…Fiji One…your name and picture came up….we telling Fiji One did they get facts tight according to media decree…cause u can sue them…
2. Yeah don’t know why Fiji tarnish ur name. Don’t worry we defend you.
3. Yes, media have branded u as terrorist. There is word you could be deported.
4. Fiji-NZ Talks-Foreign Affairs Minister Rātū Inoke Kubuabola has met in suva with his New Zealand counterpart Murray McCully to discuss rebuilding diplomatic relations between the countries. NZ, Fiji hold positive talks- Fiji and New Zealand have held talks to rebuild diplomatic relations.
5. Bro you not worth a bullet cause u don’t deserve it. In your own opinion, international politics is a double edged sword. That is politics and u have to be aware of it. Fiji has learnt from it and will continue to engage any country at our terms whether NZ aust US Chin, and not dictated. We will unite as Fijians to build this nations. Feel sorry for you bro but about time you think of strategy to save u and ur family. Mesese tikoitonga
6. Ok. Ur call. Reality 97 constitution has been abrogated. I take it than. U prefer to fight your battles in NZ. Without further ado, I understand our conversations here ends. My continuous contact will cease forthwith given your current status. I will contact you once u cleared.
7. U talk of law, why hasn’t US Presidents taken to court for collateral deaths in Iraq, afghan, come one u should be better than that. We are at voters registration stage…
8. Don’t worry about us…u becoming a thorn in NZ govt…lol
9. Reality check bro…u the culprit now…NZ FA min met ours in suva last week…hmm
10. Nots about gate now. Its about you…and rklui..
11. Are u NZ citizen or on PR
12. Bro, terrorist? We did raid you, it was NZ ss..so ask them..
13. Terrorist…in NZ
14. Hahahaha Ghai is an independent body…we respect his views…YOU my friend..insignificant…your lack of insight is your downfall…alice was right about you …hehehehehe..”NZ SIS raid Rajesh Singh house for plotting to assinate Fiji PM”. Well you will be deported soon for being threat to NZ govt
15. That’s is a process of restoration of democracy..nz is funding…so any unnecessary comments from you in NZ will be treated as impeding this process….so NZ will informed…hehehe…pliz don’t disturb my mtg with my NZ counterpart
16. I don’t talk to terrorist…as branded by nz govt….
They leave no doubt that the Fiji dictatorship knew what was happening.
And the Fiji military had contacts in high places in New Zealand.
How far was the SIS involved?
How far was the GCSB involved?
Why did the Government refuse to go to court over this when a participant took legal action?
Why did the Inspector General throw out Mr Singh’s complaint?
He talked to the police – what happened?
Only the Ombudsman showed any sympathy.
But nothing has happened against the agencies or the ministers involved.
This raises even more questions – it’s time for some answers.