27 Feb 2003

Fiji Labour Party calls for fresh prosecutions of coup plotters

10:41 am on 27 February 2003

The Fiji Labour Party is calling on the director of public prosecutions to lay fresh charges against those imprisoned for the May 2000 coup and others who have not faced any prosecution.

Fiji TV reports that the party is particularly concerned about why those on Nukulau Island were given soft treatment and charged with offences less than treason.

The Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry's call comes after revelations by the recently released coup convict, Iliesa Duvuloco, that he was happy that plea bargaining resulted in lesser charges being laid against him and others still in prison.

Mr Chaudhry says the compromise by the DPP's office means that justice has not been done.

He says the prosecution of people involved in the coup has been selective because some of them have not been charged while others are holding responsible public positions.

Mr Chaudhry says it's a disgrace that people are left untouched because of their support for the present regime.

He says police investigations may have been handicapped because the former police commissioner, Col Isikia Savua, was closely involved in the coup.

But with Col Savua's deprture, Mr Chaudhry hopes that police can move quickly because he says there is enough damning evidence.