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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI April 30) - A bill has gone before
the Fiji parliament which makes it a criminal offence to use weapons in the
overthrow of an elected government.

The bill also seeks to criminalize the possession of military
type automatic and semi-automatic weapons.

The measure was introduced by the Minister For Home Affairs,
Joketani Cokanasiga, who said current laws are archaic and need upgrading.

Cokanasiga said present laws do not adequately address matters
related to internal security and the use of weapons in violent robberies and

He also said the laws do not deal with the illegal import of
arms and ammunition, especially military type weapons, and their use in the
overthrow of governments.

Meanwhile, Radio FM-96 reports that police have begun collecting
witness statements regarding Vice-President Ratu Jope Seniloli assuming the
presidency as a usurper after the May 2000 coup.

Ratu Jope then proceeded to swear in George Speight’s failed

A number of government ministers, members of parliament,
senators and the deputy speaker of parliament are facing serious charges for
their roles in the coup.

April 30, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: 

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