13 Aug 2002

More efforts to free Fiji coup front man Speight

7:04 am on 13 August 2002

The family of the Fiji coup front man, George Speight, is renweing its effort to secure his release from prison where he is serving a life sentence for overthrowing the Chaudhry government in May 2000.

Radio Fiji quotes Speight's brother and government MP, Samisoni Tikonisau, as saying they are gathering support both locally and overseas for his release.

Mr Tikonisau says they will make the attempt once the political dust in Fiji has settled.

He says they are awaiting the ruling of the supreme court on the government's appeal against the Labour Party's inclusion in the Qarase cabinet.

Mr Tikonisau says they are hoping for a pardon from the president.

Speight was originally sentenced to death by hanging after he pleaded guilty to treason.

But this was immediately commuted to life imprisonment which he is serving with his accomplices on Nukulau island offshore from Suva.