24 Jul 2007

Fiji's former opposition leader offers conditional support for amnesty proposal

8:37 am on 24 July 2007

Fiji's former opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, is supporting a proposal to grant amnesty to those involved in the latest coup, but says it must be conditional.

He was commenting after the former vice-president, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, said the issue of amnesty was critical to any political settlement even if it was opposed by some.

Mr Beddoes also says the future role of the military has to be looked at because of the armed forces' role in all four of the country's coups.

He says any amnesty would have to be comprehensive and contain time frames otherwise the coup culture would continue.

"In order for us to put in place some kind of a deterrent, there has to be a time limitation in terms of this amnesty. In other words, a 15 year timeline on it so if any of the perpetrators of 2006 or 2000 offend again, then the amnesty provided becomes null and void, and they should become subject to the full brunt of the law."

Mick Beddoes.