21 Jan 2005

Fiji party says all coup convicts should now be set free

9:09 am on 21 January 2005

The Fijian political party, the SVT, has called on the government to release all prisoners jailed for coup-related offences.

The SVT spokesperson, Ema Druavesi, says with the government having declared 2005 as the National Year of Forgiveness, it's time for them to release all coup prisoners, including convicted soldiers.

The Fiji Sun quotes Mrs Druavesi as saying it was clear the government had a hand in the early release of the former vice president, Ratu Jope Seniloli and nationalist Viliame Savu.

She says the government should make similar exceptions for all other coup prisoners, including soldiers jailed for their role in the coup and army mutinies.

Mrs Druavesi says "the government has gone to the dogs, so they should take it all the way."

Meanwhile, referring to the release of the coup prisoners, the Fiji Democratic Party says the law shouldn't be bent to suit crooked personalities.

The Democrats leader, Filipe Bole, says the prisoners have been through the court system and their release should follow the law.

The military is expected to issue a statement on the releases soon.