18 Feb 2004

Welcome home ceremony this morning for Fiji's released coup convicts

11:08 am on 18 February 2004

A traditional Fijian protocol ceremony is being held this morning to welcome the release of three men convicted in connection with the coup.

They are the retired army officer, Ilisoni Liga-iri, who led the soldiers in storming parliament, the coup leader George Speight's brother, Jim Speight, and the former police commissioner's brother, Major Josefa Savua.

One of those organising the ceremony is Speight's elder brother, government MP Samisoni Tikonisau.

"it's just a normal Fijian procedure when loved ones have been away for an extended period of time ...we have traditonal Fijian ceremonies in place this morning, with the normal protocols afforded to them"

George Speight will be the only prisoner left on Nukulau Island from today.

Meanwhile, police say the security situation in the country is normal despite concerns about the release of the three.