22 Mar 2003

Fiji deputy Speaker arrested on coup related charges

8:26 am on 22 March 2003

The deputy Speaker of Fiji's parliament, Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure, has been arrested on coup related charges and appeared in the Suva magistrate's court late yesterday.

Ratu Rakuita has been charged with taking an illegal oath to commit a capital offence.

This relates to his being sworn in as attorney general in George Speight's failed administration.

He has also been charged with engaging in seditious enterprise.

The first charge carries a sentence of life while the second has a maximum penalty of seven years in jail.

Ratu Rakuita was bailed for a sum of five thousand US dollars and ordered to surrender his passport.

He will appear in the Suva High Court on April 11th.