FIJI’S SVT PARTY CALLS FOR COUP LEADER SPEIGHT'S RELEASE

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FIJI’S SVT PARTY CALLS FOR COUP LEADER SPEIGHT'S RELEASE

SUVA, Fiji Islands (March 28, 2001 – Fiji’s Daily Post)---The Soqosoqo ni Vakavulewa ni Taukei Party (SVT), in an attempt to strengthen Fijian unity for the next elections, yesterday called for the release of failed coup leader George Speight.

SVT general secretary Jone Banuve yesterday said that the release of George Speight and his group was essential for the reconciliation process before the polls.

Mr. Banuve said Speight should be released and included in the reconciliation team.

"We have already approached the Bose Levu Vakaturaga, the President and the Government and communicated our request," Mr. Banuve said.

"This call is from the SVT, which has been persistent. And this call was renewed in today's (Tuesday’s) Management Board meeting. George is a member of SVT. Most of them on Nukulau are members of SVT, so we will look after them."

He said the combined political Fijian forum may also call on the President for Speight's release.

"Whether George will contest the elections or not is another issue" Mr. Banuve said.

Party president Ro Epeli Mataitini said: "In the spirit of the BLV meeting of May 2000, the President also takes note of the recommendation in the ten point plan that he exercise his powers to pardon all those who participated in the events in parliament on 19 May and in related episodes and actions."

However the SVT call was condemned by Citizens Constitutional Forum director Reverend Akuila Yabaki.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

 

DON'T FREE SPEIGHT: ARMY

SUVA, Fiji Islands (March 28, 2001 – FijiLive)---The army says George Speight and his group who are awaiting trial on treason charges, should not be freed.

The army was reacting to statements by various political parties that they will be approaching the President to use his powers to free the group.

Army spokesman Captain Ned Taito told the Fiji Sun there was no question of pardoning Speight's group or rebel soldiers who mutinied.

For additional reports from FijLive, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Resources/FijLive.

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