23 Sep 2003

Fiji Labour Party shares military concern about parole board

5:04 pm on 23 September 2003

The Fiji Labour Party has joined the military in its concern about setting up a Parole Board that may free coup front man George Speight.

Radio Fiji quotes the Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry as saying the power to review prison sentences should be vested in the Judicial Services Commission, not the Justice minister.

Mr Chaudhry says a number of cabinet ministers face charges of sedition, while others have close links with instigators of the political coup.

Mr Chaudhry has also questioned the trustworthiness and impartiality of appointments to the Parole Board.

He says it is preferable the Parole Board would be judicial officers.

Mr Chaudhry says people convicted of serious crimes against the state and sentenced to life imprisonment like George Speight, should be ineligible for parole.