7 May 2009

Fiji Law Society says early release of men convicted of killing teenager unusual

10:36 am on 7 May 2009

The president of the Fiji Law Society, Dorsami Naidu, says it's highly unusual that the eight soldiers and a police officer convicted of killing a teenager have been released so soon after they were sentenced to four years in prison.

19 year-old Sakiusa Rabaka died about a month after he was detained and assaulted at a military site in Nadi in January 2007.

The nine men were sentenced in March to four years in prison for his manslaughter and four months for assault but have since been released under a community service order.

Mr Naidu says the severity of the offences should have been considered before their release.

He says the imprisonment of the soldiers may have been one of the reasons behind the abrogation of the constitution in April.

"That might have impacted on the decision to get rid of the constitution is these guys being sent to prison. These are military officers and the military thinks otherwise but the public feel they have committed a crime and they should be dealt with in the normal way."

The president of the Fiji Law Society, Dorsami Naidu.