Friday, April 09, 2010

Fiji's 2006 coup leaders give themselves legal immunity

Radio New Zealand International - 09 April 2010

Wellington - Fiji's military strongman, Voreqe Bainimarama, who seized power from the elected government in December 2006, has been given full immunity from prosecution, a report from the capital Suva said on Friday.

Former president Ratu Josefa Iloilo, who abrogated the constitution a year ago after the Court of Appeal ruled that the government Bainimarama established after the coup was illegal, has also been given immunity, Radio New Zealand International reported.

It said the current president, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, issued a decree on March 22 giving full immunity to Bainimarama and his colleagues and also for a previous coup in 2000 and an attempted mutiny at the Fiji army barracks that year.

The decree extends immunity from criminal or civil actions to members of the military, police and prison service and all others who were acting under official orders.

However, those who have already been found guilty of crimes, including businessman George Speight, who led the 2000 coup and is serving a life sentence, are not to be given immunity.

Radio New Zealand said Speight and his fellow coup members also gave themselves immunity for their actions but Bainimarama later reneged on the deal and had them arrested.


sara'ssista said...

another decree emanating from an illegal president , let them make all the decrees they like, they hold no legal position and will be recognised by no-one except those it claims to protect... it will amount to nothing...let them relax ..for even years... then seize them all one night in a co-ordianated raid and then have summary trials giving all the same rights that they have extended to others, which is none.Quick firing squad...i am thinking a , charles taylor, caucescu or saddam type situation, they had immunity too!!

Sai Lealea said...

You are quite right sara'ssista.

It is clear the Illegal Regime is taking meticulous care to protect itself from their deserved fate which is a long and lingering sentence in jail on the return of a democratic government.

But you can also be sure that in designing their so called new "Fiji Constitution" they will move to have the immunity included. However they will somehow have to have all of it legally mandated by either a Referendum or new Parliament. Then again they can never be sure of the result. So they may well have it all sanctioned, still illegally am afraid, by another Presidential Decree.

Another option open to them is to ensure a new government of their choice is installed come the 2014 Elections. That is why they are getting after all their opponents like Qarase, Marama Roko Tui Dreketi, The Qaranivalu, and no doubt others I know, who are on their trumped-up list. Once they're able to secure convictions for them, it forbids them from standing for Elections in the hope to hand power to their preferred government while the Military keeps an eye from the sideline.

Those are the dark prospects for Fiji and its people as long as the current unelected and illegal regime remain in power.

That is why all efforts must be made to get rid of the illegal regime and reform and drastically downsize the Military into a more professional and non political organisation that takes order only from the elected civilian government of the day.