20 Nov 2004

Fiji cabinet minister defends Seniloli's coup role

9:11 am on 20 November 2004

A Fiji cabinet minister has defended the role played by jailed vice president Seniloli in the coup.

Seniloli is serving a four-year sentence for taking an illegal oath to become the usurper president in George Speight's failed administration during the coup.

But the minister for public enterprises, Irami Matairavula, has told parliament that if Senolili had not taken the oath, there would have been a bigger crisis.

The Daily Post quotes Mr Matairavula as saying with Seniloli's presence, there was only moderate chaos on the country.

Mr Matairavula said if an indigenous court system is put in place where Fijian protocol and customs and respect for chiefs are prioritised, the crime rate would decrease.