Wednesday, May 21, 2008

PM silent over 2006 coup

PM silent over 2006 coup
Last updated 5/21/2008

The Prime Minister's office has remained mum on the immunity proposal for people behind the 2006 coup.Questions sent to interim Prime Minister Commodore Bainimarama's officer remained answered despite a confirmation that a reply would be sent last week.
Ousted Vice President Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi had earlier this month called for immunity for military leaders who staged the latest coup.
He said those behind the 2006 coup must be promised immunity from prosecution otherwise they would not negotiate a solution to the country's problems.
“It is an issue which divides those who opposed the coup of 5 December, 2006,'' he said. “But it is a matter of real politic. Without it the military will not engage let alone negotiate.”
He said the nature of the immunity could be discussed because certain military officers must be held accountable for serious human rights abuses.
“I accept the argument that this approach may encourage future coups,” he said. “It is a risk we must be prepared to take. The room for manouvre is slight and this potential threat will have to be addressed over the long term.
However ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase said immunity was an important and very sensitive issue.
Fiji's first coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka has constitutional immunity from prosecution but others, including 2000 coup plotter George Speight, were jailed for treason following failed coups.

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