21 Oct 2005

Jailed Fiji government senator eligible for parliamentary pension

10:39 am on 21 October 2005

A report from Fiji says the convicted former government senator now serving a life sentence, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, will be eligible for a parliamentary pension.

Radio Legend quotes the secretary general to parliament, Mary Chapman, as saying Takiveikata will be eligible for a pension because he had served four years as a senator.

This is despite the fact that he has been behind bars in Suva prison since November last year when he was jailed for inciting the November 2000 army mutiny which claimed eight lives.

The senate president, Taito Waqavakatoga, declared Takiveikata's seat vacant and stopped his pay only last week, after Takiveikata indicated that he would not appeal his life sentence.

By this time Takiveikata had become eligible for a senate pension because he had been a member of the Upper House for four years and one month.

Although in prison, Takiveikata is currently facing a charge of drunken driving for an incident in September last year when his vehicle went off the road and plunged into Suva harbour.

He survived when an eye-witness dived into the sea, rescued him and took him to hospital to recover.