24 Dec 2003

Fiji army remains opposed to setting up of parole board

2:13 pm on 24 December 2003

The Fiji army says it believes the government is setting up a parole board so that it can reduce the sentences of highly placed people associated with the coup.

Military spokesman, Warrant officer Neumi Leweni, says plans to hand out lighter sentences and grant pardons will also have an effect on impending court martials.

He says this is because there will be a flow-on effect with lighter sentencing all round.

Mr Leweni says the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, remains opposed to the setting up of a parole board.

"Our concern on the parole board is that it was designed to deal with the people, to affect the people who are being tried for treason and we think it's an attempt to bring about this plan so that they can give these people much lighter sentences."

Warrant officer Neumi Leweni.