LAWYER WANTS COUP PRISONERS RELOCATED

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, May 5) - A lawyer representing 56
soldiers convicted and jailed for the Labasa mutiny during Fiji’s coup says his
clients should be relocated from prison pending a presidential decision on their
conviction.

Kitione Vuataki said his clients have been unlawfully detained
without committal warrants from the President since January.

The mutineers are serving sentences ranging from life to three
years and are detained at Korovou jail in Suva.

Vuataki said the President is still deciding on whether to
confirm or amend the soldiers convictions and sentences.

He said until that decision is made, alternative plans for the
soldiers’ detention should be found.

"They can only be put into prison under committal warrant given
by the President, so what we have done now is we have filed to the court asking
them for an explanation to be made as to how they're held," he said. "If they're
held unlawfully in prison, then they have to be released, but not necessarily
walk free. They might just have to go back to camp under military police
custody".

May 6, 2003

Radio New Zealand International:
http://www.rnzi.com/

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