15 Sep 2004

Fiji attorney general unaware of state paying jailed vice-president

12:50 pm on 15 September 2004

Fiji's Attorney General, Qoriniasi Bale, says he had no idea the jailed Vice President and Deputy Speaker were still on the pay roll.

Mr Bale says he's unsure if it's true and is meeting the Solicitor General Nainendra Nand today to verify the situation.

He says he was only told yesterday of salary payments to Vice President Ratu Jope Seniloli and the deputy speaker Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure.

"I did not become aware of this until yesterday afternoon when the local media rang me up about it. And as we speak I don't even know whether they are being paid or not and I also don't know the rules that they were applying there."

Mr Bale says he believes the Prime Minister's office has sought the advice of the Solicitor General on the situation.

The Prime Minister's office referred all comment on the matter to the Attorney General.

Under Fiji's Employment Act, no wages are payable to employees for the period they spend in jail.