6 Apr 2004

Fiji's junior coalition partner signals warning over immunity bill

1:55 pm on 6 April 2004

Fiji's pro-coup Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua party has warned its senior partner in the coalition government to be cautious about introducing an immunity bill for loyalist soldiers.

Radio Fiji quotes the Conservative Alliance's general secretary, Ratu Josefa Dimuri, as saying he's issued the warning to avoid future instability.

Ratu Josefa says the families of the soldiers killed by loyalists are still hurting and government should ensure the interests of the victims are protected in the immunity bill.

They've filed lawsuits against the army claiming compensation for the deaths.

The immunity decree is aimed at protecting loyalist soldiers who allegedly killed five rebels from the Counter Revolutionary Warfare unit during their November 2000 mutiny.

The mutiny aimed to assassinate the army commander.

Fiji's solicitor general was earlier quoted as saying the bill had been drafted and sent to the home affairs ministry.