3 May 2005

Fiji's deputy director prosecutions hopeful that no further coups will occur

3:36 pm on 3 May 2005

The departing deputy director of Fiji's Public Prosecutions office says he is hopeful that there will not be another coup in the country.

Peter Ridgway, who's leaving this month at the end of his contract, says the DPP's office has managed to prosecute all of the major players in the May 2000 coup and has seen many of them sentenced.

Mr Ridgway says this wasn't achieved following the 1987 coup, so he says people now know that you cannot overturn a democratically-elected government, and expect to write your own get out of jail free card.

"That's what it really amounts to and at the end of the day, what it comes down to, is the lesson has been put out there that you simply cannot have any legitimate expectation of being able to do this sort of thing and walk away with the prize of immunity."

Mr Ridgway would not comment on the government's decision to release early from prison, several high profile politicians and chiefs, convicted of coup offences.

Two released recently had served only 11 days of their eight month sentences.