11 Feb 2003

Fiji police considering charging government minister with sedition

9:06 am on 11 February 2003

Fiji police are reported to be considering whether to lay a charge of sedition against the assistant minister in the prime minister's office, Simione Kaitani.

The Fiji Times reports that on a television programme on Sunday, Mr Kaitani was shown footage of his address at a nationalist march planned to coincide with the coup on May 19th 2000.

Mr Kaitani agreed with a question that his remarks were seditious and added that he stood by them.

The newspaper quotes the acting police commissioner, Sada Nand, as saying he is awaiting a report from the assistant commissioner crime, Emosi Vunisa, after which he will decide what action to take.

Mr Kaitani was sworn in as a minister in George Speight's failed administration and is currently a member of the SDL government as an elected MP.

Earlier this month he called on the police to charge the Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, with sedition, for his comments on the plight of Indo-Fijians at a conference in New Delhi.