24 Jan 2003

Some of 56 Fiji Army mutineers seek reinstatement

4:58 am on 24 January 2003

Some of the 56 Fiji soldiers convicted of staging a mutiny at the Labasa military barracks during the May 2000 coup want to be reinstated in the military.

Radio Fiji reports the request has been put by their lawyer, Kitione Vuetaki, before the court martial hearing their case.

Mr Vuetaki said the soldiers he represented still had qualities which could be used by the army.

He said they could be re-employed by the military depending on the extent of their participation in the mutiny which was in support of the overthrow of the Chaudhry government.

Mr Vuetaki cited the situation in Afghanistan where President Hamid Karzai came into power and granted amnesty to Taliban soldiers who were re-employed in the country's national army.

He pleaded that the same should be done with his clients.

The mutineers are due to be sentenced this week.