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Nine guilty of manslaughter on supervised release

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 13, 2009) – Prison authorities have confirmed that the eight soldiers and one policemen who were convicted of manslaughter have been released under Compulsory Supervision Orders.

Natabua Prison officer-in-charge Jerry Bakeiyasawa confirmed the man who were charged with the death of Nadi youth Skiusa Rabaka were released on Monday afternoon. He did not reply to other questions asked of him.

The nine were sentenced in February.

Lawyer for the nine, Haroon Ali Shah also confirmed they were released on CSOs.

Prisons Commisioner Ioane Naivalurua said he had sent his response regarding the release to the Information Ministry.

Questions sent to the Information Ministry remained unanswered despite numerous calls from the Fiji Times.

Meanwhile, Citizens' Constitutional Forum executive officer Reverend Akuila Yabaki said the release of eight soldiers and a policeman convicted of manslaughter undermined the rule of law.

"The eight soldiers and a police officer were serving sentences of four years and four months for a very serious crime of manslaughter of a teenage boy in early 2007. To release them on Community Supervision Orders two months after their sentencing undermines the authority of the courts to sentence and shows bias and unfair discrimination.

"These early releases are abhorrent to the rule of law," he said,

He said the CCF was concerned there was no opportunity for judicial review of the decision to release the prisoners as there was no High Court.

Now free are policeman Patrick Nayacalagilagi, and soldiers Taione Lua, Ulaisi Radike, Etonio Nadura, Ratunaisa Toutou, Joeli Lesavua, Jona Nareki, Ilaisa Kurimavua and Napolioni Naulia.

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