19 Nov 2004

Fiji attorney general speaks out on jailed vice-president's choices

8:39 am on 19 November 2004

Fiji's attorney general says he can't deal with the jailed vice president Ratu Jope Seniloli's application to be released as an extramural prisoner if Seniloli takes his appeal to the Supreme Court.

Qoriniasi Bale has told Radio Legend that he can only deal with the vice president's application if Seniloli accepts his conviction and four-year sentence.

Seniloli's lawyer, Mehboob Raza, says he will meet his client in Suva Prison today.

During the meeting Seniloli will decide whether to accept his conviction and press on to be released as an extramural prisoner, or take his appeal to the Supreme Court.

Earlier, the former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, said Seniloli should not return to the vice presidency if he is released to serve his sentence extramurally.

Mr Rabuka said the fact remains that Seniloli is a convicted prisoner and once convicted, a person cannot expect to carry on in a public office.

Mr Rabuka said to uphold the sanctity of the vice presidency, Seniloli should vacate it or the Great Council of Chiefs should appoint a replacement.