6 Feb 2003

Fiji government MP says military commander should be tried for treason

4:51 pm on 6 February 2003

A Fiji government MP has called for a charge of treason to be laid against the military commander, Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama.

The call has come from the brother of George Speight, Samisoni Tikonisau, who is an MP of the Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua Party, a coalition partner in the Qarase government.

Mr Tikonisau has told the Daily Post newspaper that a great injustice was done to Speight when he was charged and pleaded guilty to treason, because it was not Speight and his men who usurped executive authority after the overthrow of the Chaudhry government.

Mr Tikonisau says it was Rear Admiral Bainimarama who took over executive authority at the time and abrogated the constitution who should be prosecuted for treason.

He says the former president, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, who was removed ten days after the coup, was a victim of the army commander's treason.

Mr Tikonisau also called for the pardoning of his brother who, he says, only wanted to protect the rights and values of indigenous Fijians.