28 Oct 2004

Fiji's ruling party moots house arrest for Seniloli

8:15 am on 28 October 2004

Fiji's ruling SDL party says prison authorities should consider placing the jailed vice president, Ratu Jope Seniloli under house arrest, because of his age and health condition.

The Fiji Times quotes the SDL secretary general, Jale Baba, as saying, Seniloli is not a common criminal and should be put under house arrest so his family can take care of him.

A report earlier this week said Seniloli, who is 65, is being kept in the sick bay of Suva Prison because of his health condition.

Seniloli is serving a four-year jail sentence for taking an illegal oath to become the usurper president during the Speight coup, while the legally elected president, the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, was still in office.

His appeal, as well as that of the jailed deputy speaker of parliament Ratu Rakuita Vakalabure, will be heard next month.

Both men continue to hold office and receive the salary and benefits of their positions despite being in prison.