16 Nov 2002

Fiji military commander rejects mutineer's apology

9:10 am on 16 November 2002

Fiji's military commander, Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama, says the army will not accept a traditional indigenous apology from the 15 convicted mutineers sentenced to prison this week.

The Daily Post quotes Rear Admiral Bainimarama as saying he was very disappointed with the sentences which comprised one life term and others ranging from 18 months to eight years.

He says they should all have received life sentences.

Rear Admiral Bainimarama says just like the Great Council of Chiefs, the army will not accept a traditional apology from the mutineers.

He says the statements made by the soldiers during their court martial showed they were not sorry for their actions, and what they later told their lawyers and church pastors who mitigated were totally different things.

The mutineers had aimed to assassinate Rear Admiral Bainimarama and free coup front man George Speight.