14 Dec 2002

Fiji Labour Party seeks indictment of vice president on treason charges

8:29 am on 14 December 2002

The Fiji Labour Party says there is sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges of treason or misprision of treason against the vice president, Ratu Jope Seniloli, and others.

The party says Ratu Jope, the deputy speaker, Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure and the sports minister, Isireli Leweniqila, have been shown on television taking the oath in George Speight's illegal administration immediately after the May 2000 coup.

Labour spokesman, John Ali, says the TV footage is photographic, undeniable and incontrvertible evidence of their criminal complicity in the overthrow of a democratically elected government.

Mr Ali says the principles of justice should never be comprimised by the social status of the offenders.

He says the director of public prosecutions should immediately investigate why these people have not been charged and institute proceedings.

Meanwhile, the treason trial of coup accomplices, Timoci Silatolu and Josefa Nata, has been adjourned until January the 14th,

This follows a closed door hearing in chambers before presiding judge, Justice Andrew Wilson, in which lawyers sought clarification about evidence of phone calls made by the coup front man George Speight to various people.

The month-long adjournment is to allow for the normal judicial holidays in the Christmas and New Year period.