23 Aug 2004

Fiji military on alert after Appeal Court turns down bail application by jailed vice president

6:34 pm on 23 August 2004

Fiji's military went on alert on today after the Appeal Court refused jailed vice president Seniloli's bail application and ruled that he should remain in prison.

Radio Legend quotes the military spokesman, Captain Neumi Leweni, as saying army units are on standby if the needs arises.

Captian Leweni says the military is monitoring certain individuals, the army will take no chances and "contingency plans are in place."

He says military intelligence has "established that there are some elements who are disappointed with the court ruling and who are making public utterances."

Captain Leweni says the military is keeping tabs on them.

In rejecting Seniloli and deputy Speaker of parliament Vakalabure's bail application, the president of the Appeal Court, Justice Gordon Ward also rejected allegations of bias against High Court judge, Justice Nazhat Shameem, made by defence lawyers.

Justice Ward said there were no exceptional circumstances to grant bail such as extreme age and medical conditions.

Justice Ward also rejected the lawyers' applications for bail for Seniloli and Vakalabure so they could continue holding their high offices.

He said loss of employment is never grounds for bail for people convicted of serious offences.