31 Mar 2009

Fiji human rights commissioner welcomes immunity restriction

3:49 pm on 31 March 2009

A Fiji human rights commissioner Shamima Ali is applauding a high court decision to refuse immunity protection to an army officer accused of murder.

Immunity was granted to those who ousted the government in a military coup in 2006.

But Judge Daniel Gounder ruled that Maika Vuniwawa would not be covered by immunity as his trial is underway for the alleged killing of Nimilote Verebasaga.

Mr Verebasaga was taken from his home to a military camp in January 2007 where he was assaulted, resulting in his death.

Shamima Ali says the ruling shows that the wheels of justice in Fiji function to some extent.

"Immunity is sort of a green light to others who want to do that in the future and and this is a good call and really testing this situation in Fiji at the moment."

Shamima Ali says there should be a debate about who should be covered by immunity provisions once a government is elected.