13 Sep 2004

Fiji Government accused of double standards for continuing wage payments to jailed Vice President

8:43 pm on 13 September 2004

Fiji's opposition leader has accused the government of double standards in continuing to pay the salaries of jailed vice president Seniloli and deputy Speaker Vakalalabure.

Radio Legend says Mick Beddoes has called on the government to explain the grounds on which the two continue to be paid nearly two months after they were jailed for serious coup related offences.

Mr Beddoes says the citizens of Fiji have a right to know why their money is being used to pay the two when they are unable to perform their duties.

He is asking if the same rules apply to all other citizens or if there is some special reason this is occurring in the case of Seniloli and Vakalalabure.

Fiji's Employment Act states that no employer is bound to pay any wages for a period during which an employee is in jail.

The secretary to the President's Office, Paula Kunabuli, says the instructions to continue to pay the two have come from the Prime Minister's Office.

Meanwhile, Fiji's military has stopped the pay of more than 60 soldiers who are facing court martial for taking part in the May 2000 coup.