16 Apr 2005

Fiji Labour Party to ask speaker to keep convicted MPs out of parliament

7:38 am on 16 April 2005

The Fiji Labour Party says it'll ask the parliamentary speaker to use his powers, to keep the convicted former lands minister, Ratu Jope Lalabalavu, out of the lower house.

A party spokesman has told the news agency, Australian Associated Press, they'll probably be asking the speaker to make a ruling that forbids Lalabalavu from attending parliament during the eight months of his extramural prison sentence.

The attorney-general, Qoriniasi Bale, says Lalabalavu and the senator Ratu Josefa Dimuri, are now required to do six hours of community work per day.

Lalabalavu and Dimuri were convicted of illegal assembly at Labasa army base where a mutiny took place during the coup in 2000.

Two other chiefs convicted on the same charges and being treated at a hospital are expected to apply for early release on health grounds.