18 Feb 2003

Fiji party to push for parliamentary pardon for George Speight

6:02 pm on 18 February 2003

Fiji's Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua party is expected to push for a parliamentary pardon for coup front man, George Speight.

Samisoni Tikonisau, the brother of Speight and a government MP, says the party executive plans to pass a motion calling for a pardon, at its annual general meeting at Sigatoka next month.

The move follows the early release today of three of the eleven men serving prison sentences for their role in the May 2000 coup.

Mr Tikonisau says the motion is then expected to be presented in parliament.

"I think parliament legislates what ever motion to be debated. If it's passed, it's passed. ...it's law. I don't see any reason why , if a pardon is put through as a motion, and debated, and if it's passed, it is then law."

Under Fiji's constitution, a pardon can be granted by the president on the recommendation of the prerogative of mercy commission.

It was this commission which commuted George Speight's death sentence when he was convicted of treason.