11 Aug 2004

Jailed Fiji vice-president defers possible pardon bid

3:08 pm on 11 August 2004

Jailed Fiji vice president Seniloli will not be applying for a full pardon just yet.

Seniloli's son, Ratu Inia Seniloli, has told Radio Legend that the family has decided to await the outcome of the bail and appeal applications which will be heard next Tuesday.

The comments come amid increasing controversy about whether Seniloli is eligible for a pardon from President Iloilo.

The attorney general, Qoriniasi Bale, had said earlier that the Prerogative of Mercy Commission does not consider applications from people serving less than a life sentence.

The lawyer for some of the jailed convicts, Serupepeli Nagase, says the attorney general should do his legal homework before opening his mouth because a section of the constitution allows for a full or a conditional presidential pardon.

Now Mr Bale says the commission has never in the past considered an application for a pardon from a person serving less than a life sentence.

But he says a new dimension is now coming when the commission is being asked to consider a pardon for a person serving less than life.

Mr Bale says the commission will consider the issue and rule on the practice for the future.