7 Aug 2004

Fiji MP criticises Great Council of Chiefs over Seniloli conviction

9:37 am on 7 August 2004

The Fiji government MP Samisoni Tikonisau says the Great Council of Chiefs could have done more to stand by vice-president Ratu Jope Seniloli.

Seniloli and four others were found guilty of coup-related charges for their role in the failed administration set up by the coup frontman George Speight.

Seniloli has been jailed for four years.

Mr Tikonisau, spokesman for the pro-coup Conservative Alliance party and George Speight's brother, says Seniloli's jailing is an example of selective justice.

He asks how Sitiveni Rabuka received lifetime immunity after his 1987 coups while the vice president was spending last night in prison.

Mr Tikonisau also says the chiefs could have done more to avoid the matter ending in Ratu Jope's conviction...

"I felt that they could have done a bit more, in standing by him, by way of... probably if he had better legal counsel, you know, as proved by the minister for youth, who was acquitted. I'm sure that the result of the case could have been different. But unfortunately he was left to stand on his own, and that's how it turned out."