6 Aug 2004

Fiji police threaten instant arrests as Seniloli sentencing looms

10:26 am on 6 August 2004

Fiji police have threatened the immediate arrest of anyone taking part in demonstrations or protests following the coup-related convictions of vice president Seniloli and four others.

The police spokesman, Mesake Koroi, says no permits have been given for any such activities and they would be illegal.

The warning follows a further boost in security in and around the capital as Seniloli spent the night at Suva's Korovou Prison awaiting today's sentencing.

The military commander, Commodore Bainimarama, said the security forces are monitoring the situation and are prepared to respond to any trouble.

Fiji's information minister, Simione Kaitani, has told Radio Legend he believes the five convicts were doing what they thought was right at the height of the crisis.

He said they were all proud and confident of what they did and Rinakama gave them a victory sign as they all boarded the police bus to go to prison.

But the chief prosecutor, Mark Tedeschi QC of New South Wales, said the convictions showed that Fiji stood firmly for the rule of the law and not the rule of the gun.