27 Nov 2004

Fiji attorney general releases vice president from jail

6:08 am on 27 November 2004

Fiji's vice president, Ratu Jope Seniloli, has been released from prison after serving only three and a half months of his 4-year sentence for his involvement in the 2000 coup.

The attorney general and minister for justice, Qoriniasi Bale, has confirmed that he approved Seniloli's release under a Compulsory Supervision order.

Mr Bale says he did so on medical grounds.

Seniloli was sentenced to a four-year prison term in early August after the Suva High Court convicted him of taking an illegal oath to become the usurper president in George Speight's failed administration during the coup.

The Fiji Court of Appeal rejected 65-year old Seniloli's appeal against his conviction and sentence earlier this month.

His release now means that he has decided not to appeal further to the Supreme Court.