21 Jan 2005

Fiji public prosecutor baffled by coup convict release

8:26 am on 21 January 2005

Fiji's deputy director of public prosecutions is perplexed by the early release of yet another coup convict.

Fiji's commissioner of prisons, Aisea Taoka, released Viliame Savu last month, after only five months of his one-year sentence for taking an illegal oath to become a purported minister in George Speight's failed administration during the coup.

The deputy director of public prosecutions, Peter Ridgeway, says Mr Savu was convicted of being a member of a rebel government, and it seems unlikely that he's been rehabilitated.

"It seemed to me, this man by his very nature seems highly unlikely to be on good behaviour and highly unlikely to be a fit person to be released into the community until he's served his sentence."

Peter Ridgeway says he doesn't understand Mr Taoka's thinking.

But Mr Taoka is quoted as saying he receives applications from coup prisoners everyday and that's their right.