29 Jan 2005

Fiji coup soldiers denied appeal against sentence

9:25 am on 29 January 2005

The Fiji Court of Appeal has rejected an application filed by eleven soldiers against their jail sentences for their role in the Speight coup.

A court martial had sentenced the eleven soldiers for terms ranging from three to five-and-a-half years.

Radio Legend reports that the soldiers' lawyers were claiming the sentences were too harsh and had applied to the Fiji Court of Appeal for leave to review the decision of the court martial.

But the president of the Appeal Court, Justice Gordon Ward, ruled that under the law, sentences handed down by a court martial couldn't be appealed against in the civilian courts.

Justice Ward also said he'd rejected the application because there were no grounds of appeal.