Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Absolute and unconditional immunity decree for prescribed persons

Fiji Village News - 14 April 2010

A new Limitation of Liability for Prescribed Political Events Decree has been gazetted, which gives unconditional immunity to prescribed persons in relation to the events of 2000 and leading up to the abrogation of the constitution in April last year. 

Following the gazetting of the decree, it also means that no compensation shall be payable by the state to any person in any proceeding in any court or tribunal in respect of any claim, damage or injury, arising from any prescribed political event for which immunity has been granted to the persons covered. 

However, the state has the discretion to make ex-gratia payments to any person who has suffered injury to either the person or the person's property.

Those who are covered under the decree include Ratu Josefa Iloilo, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and Jona Senilagakali and all people who acted under the directions, orders, instructions or command of people who are covered under the decree.

However, those who have already been found guilty by any court or tribunal are not covered under this new decree. 

The Limitation of Liability Decree states that all officers and members of the military are covered, but it does not include any officer or member found guilty by any court or tribunal of any involvement in the purported civilian takeover of the government on 19th May 2000 or in the attempted mutiny at the RFMF barracks in November 2000. 

This also applies for the Police and the Fiji Prisons Service.

The decree further goes on to define a prescribed political event where immunity applies for those who are covered under the new decree. 

The prescribed political events are the purported civilian takeover of the government on May 19th 2000 and all related acts or omissions between 19th May to 29th May 2000, including the appointment of the Acting Prime Minister and proroguing of parliament. 

The event also covers the taking of members of the elected government hostage between May 19th to July 14th 2000. 

The prescribed political event for which the covered persons are granted immunity include the abrogation of the 1997 constitution and the appointment of the Interim Military Government on May 29th 2000. 

The event also includes the attempted act of mutiny in November 2000 and all related acts, incidents or omissions, including investigations, arrests in relation to the attempted mutiny and all acts carried out by the person covered, which in the judgment of the person, was necessary to establish or maintain peace, order and safety.

The prescribed political event further covers the dismissal of the Prime Minister and dissolution of parliament and the appointment of the Acting Prime Minister in March 2001. 

It further covers all dialogue, discussions and correspondence between the RFMF and the government between September 2001 and December 2006.

It also covers the dismissal of the Prime Minister, the taking over of executive authority, the appointment of the Caretaker Prime Minister, the declaration of a state of emergency, the dissolution of parliament in December 2006, and all acts or omissions of any prescribed person, including all acts carried out in December 2006, which in a judgment of the prescribed person, was necessary to maintain peace, public order and safety in Fiji. 

It then goes on to cover the return of executive authority to the President of Fiji, appointment of an Interim Prime Minister and other cabinet ministers in 2007 and all acts from January 2007 to April 2009. 

Also covered is the abrogation of the constitution in April 2009 and the appointment of the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers in April 2009. 

The Limitation of Liability for Prescribed Political Events Decree which was gazetted on the 29th of March this year and is signed by President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, states that absolute and unconditional immunity is granted to all prescribed persons from any criminal prosecution and from any civil or any other liability in any court or tribunal, in any proceeding including any other legal, military, disciplinary or professional proceedings.

1 comment:

sara'ssista said...

meaningless. You can decree whatever you like , no-one need be bound by this self-serving, corrupt and illegal decree that will not be recognised by anyone that doesn't benefit from it.