25 Sep 2004

Fiji coup frontman offers private apology to former PM

9:05 am on 25 September 2004

A report in Fiji says the coup leader George Speight wants to make a personal apology to the politicians he held hostage.

Fiji TV has quoted government officials as saying Speight wants to make a private apology to the former Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry, and other politicians who were held captive for 56 days in 2000.

The television station says the government's National Reconciliation Committee has received a letter from Speight.

Speight reportedly writes that he and two fellow treason convicts, Timoci Silatolu, and Josefa Nata want to apologise to Dr Chaudhry and the others.

The vice chairman of the National Reconciliation Committee, Hari Pal Singh, has told Fiji TV that the meeting will be held in private at a date yet to be decided.

Speight is serving a life sentence on Nukulau Island, whilst Silatolu and Nata are held for the same term in the country's maximum security prison.

Nata last week apologised to trade unions and workers to express remorse for his actions during the coup.