11 Jul 2005

Fiji PM says Reconciliation Bill will bring closure to coup investigations

10:31 am on 11 July 2005

Fiji's prime minister says his government believes its Reconciliation and Unity Bill will end all investigations into the May 2000 Speight coup.

The Fiji Times reports that Laisenia Qarase gave the explanation at a "talanoa" or discussion with the people of Kubulau in Bua on the island of Vanua Levu.

Mr Qarase said his government introduced the Bill to offer a political solution to the 2000 upheaval, otherwise the coup investigations would never end.

Mr Qarase said there's been trial after trial and the list goes on.

He said the government wanted to legally end the investigations into the coup through reconciliation and tolerance.

His comments come just after the military warned that it will NOT accept the Reconciliation and Unity Bill because it neutralises the powers of the judiciary, the police commissioner, the director of public prosecutions and the army commander.

Commodore Bainimarama said the military will hold people accountable if they appear to be leading Fiji to disorder and will hand out the same treatment to those who break the law as it did with George Speight and his group in 2000.