6 Oct 2004

Fiji group calls for continued focus on coup prosecutions

4:19 pm on 6 October 2004

The Citizens Constitutional Forum says criminal investigations, trials and sentences of those implicated in the Fiji coup must not be compromised by this week's reconciliation ceremony.

In a statement, the CCF says reconciliation is not a substitute for the legal process and the culture of coups can be put behind only if justice is seen to be done.

The CCF's executive director, the Reverend Aquila Yabaki, says Indo-Fijians bore the brunt of the coup and any reconciliation without their participation would be a sham.

He says true reconciliation can only begin when the wrongdoers admit what they have done and accept the consequences of their actions.

The Rev Yabaki says not only must wrongdoers who are convicted accept the sentences imposed on them, but others who are yet to be charged must come forward and admit their wrongdoing.

He says apologies given in the expectation of immunity from prosecution, or in the hope of a presidential pardon are meaningless.

The Rev Yabaki says the coup plotters must apologise to the hostages and other victims of their violence, as well as to the nation as a whole, with the apologies being broadcast on radio and television