30 Nov 2004

Fiji military warns of another coup over Seniloli release

3:03 pm on 30 November 2004

Fiji's military warns another coup can occur if the attorney general, Qoriniasi Bale, is allowed to continue to make key decisions.

The warning follows an emergency meeting of senior military officers after Mr Bale's decision to release convicted vice president Ratu Jope Seniloli just three and a half months into his four year jail sentence.

The military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has issued a strong statement, saying the move was an endorsement of the 2000 coup and makes a mockery of the military, the police and the judicial system.

A military spokesman, Captain Neumi Leweni, says Seniloli's release sets a dangerous precedent for other high-profile prisoners.

"The worst case scenario is a return to the mayhem of 2000. And this will be the final outcome if the AG is given free reign to continue with what he's done."

Seniloli has resigned from office after a meeting with the Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase and the President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo.

He'll receive a vice presidential pension after his release last Friday under a compulsory supervision order, on medical grounds that remain unclear.