28 Jun 2005

Fiji Labour Party reported to have offered pardon to coup convict

9:47 am on 28 June 2005

The Fiji Labour Party is reported to have offered a pardon to a leading coup convict in return for his joining the party and giving it his support.

The Daily Post reports that Labour has made the offer to the paramount chief of Naitasiri, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, a vice president of the ruling SDL party who is serving a life sentence for inciting the November 2000 mutiny.

The Post says its source has revealed that the Labour Party sent one if its indigenous Fijian senators to Suva Prison to visit Ratu Inoke to persuade him to agree to their plan.

The source is quoted as saying "the idea was to sell the release to Ratu Inoke in return for his switching to the opposition."

The source is also quoted as saying "it must be a sign of desperation"

The Post says while the Labour Party Office did not respond to faxed questions yesterday, it has been confirmed that the visit did take place.