26 Jan 2005

Jailed Fiji soliders to appeal sentences

8:31 pm on 26 January 2005

Eleven Fiji soldiers jailed by a court martial for their role in the Speight coup are attempting to appeal against their sentences.

Radio Legend says this is despite there being no provision in military law for appeals against sentences handed down by a court martial.

The soldiers were sentenced to terms ranging from three to five-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to mutiny late last year.

The offences were related to their helping in the overthrow of the Chaudhry government during the Speight coup and holding it hostage.

They have taken their case to the president of the Fiji Court of Appeal, Justice Gordon Ward.

Referring to the lack of appeal provisions on sentences handed down by a military court martial, their lawyer, Sevuloni Valenitabua, claims there is no justice in this.

Mr Valenitabua has asked Justice Ward to find an alternative way of reducing the sentences.