16 Aug 2004

Fiji government MP says vice-president has right to appeal for pardon

4:10 pm on 16 August 2004

A Fiji government MP says the vice-president, Ratu Jope Seniloli, has a right to apply for a pardon for his jail sentence over his involvement in the 2000 coup.

Samisoni Tikonisau, who's also the brother of coup front man, George Speight, says there are no restrictions on who can appeal to be pardoned by the prerogative of mercy commission.

Speight himself successfully petitioned it to reduce his death sentence to life.

The commission has previously only granted pardons over death or life sentences but Mr Tikonisau says this doesn't preclude Seniloli appealing.

"The constitution is very clear that the avenue for pardon is open to all those citizens who are convicted of an offence under the law of the state. And, as such, there's no sort of category of crime listed under the prerogative of mercy guidelines."

Samisoni Tikonisau.

The vice-president has also appealed his four year sentence and requested bail.