30 Nov 2004

Fiji's military says Attorney-General's actions threaten national security

10:20 am on 30 November 2004

Fiji's military has warned of a return to the mayhem of 2000 if the attorney general, Qoriniasi Bale, is given free rein to continue what he is doing.

The warning followed an emergency meeting of senior military officers after Mr Bale's decision to release convicted vice president Seniloli who had served only 3½ months of his four-year sentence.

In a strongly worded statement, the military said the move was an endorsement of the coup of 2000 and could lead to a return to the mayhem of those times if Mr Bale is allowed to continue what he is doing.

The military statement said everyone could guess what was next on the agenda** and all effort must be made to stop the rot.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Law Society has expressed its concern, saying the public has a right to know the medical grounds on which Mr Bale decided to release Seniloli.

The Daily Post quotes the society's president, Graham Leung, as saying such decisions undermine the judiciary by allowing persons convicted of serious charges to avoid the full consequences of their actions.

Mr Leung says they also "weaken the rule of law in conveying the impression that there is one law for the well-connected and another standard for others."

Seniloli resigned yesterday and will be paid a vice presidential pension.