13 Aug 2004

Jailed Fiji deputy speaker remains head of law and order committee

3:25 pm on 13 August 2004

The speaker of Fiji's parliament, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, has clarified the position of his jailed deputy Vakalabure who is now serving a 6-year sentence for his role in the coup.

Under Fiji's constitution, any MP jailed for more than 12 months automatically loses seat in the legislature.

But Ratu Epeli told the Lower House this afternoon that since Vakalabure has an appeal pending, will remain a member of the House until its outcome is known.

But Ratu Epeli said until the result of the appeal is known, Vakalabure will remain suspended from the House.

Meanwhile, Vakalabure also remains chairman of 15-member parliamentary sector committee which has oversigjht on matters relating to justice, law and order.