2 Dec 2004

Fiji's jailed deputy speaker Vakalabure seeks to retain his office, seat and salary

4:26 pm on 2 December 2004

Fiji's jailed deputy speaker of parliament, Ratu Rakuita Vakalabure, is making a last minute bid to retain his office, parliamentary seat and salary.

Vakalabure is due to lose his seat tomorrow for missing two consecutive sessions of the House of Representatives since he was jailed for six years in August.

He was found guilty of taking an illegal oath to become the purported attorney-general in George Speight's failed administration during the coup.

Vakalalabure's lawyer, Abhay Singh, told Radio Legend that he has sent a letter to the speaker of Parliament informing Ratu Epeli Nailatikau that he has initiated a Supreme Court appeal for his client.

Mr Singh says he is seeking special leave from the Speaker to allow Vakalalabure to be excused from attending Parliament while he is in prison.

He says the appeal is likely to be heard about the middle of next year.

An earlier appeal to the Fiji Court of Appeal was rejected last month at the same time as the former jailed vice president Seniloli's appeal was rejected