12 Apr 2005

Fiji PM visits prison to see senator jailed for life

8:21 am on 12 April 2005

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has made his second visit to prison, this time to meet another jailed government MP.

The Daily Post reports that Mr Qarase made his surprise visit to Suva Prison last Saturday to meet Senator Ratu Inoke Takiveikata.

Takiveikata is serving a life sentence for inciting the November 2000 army mutiny in Suva, which claimed eight lives and left more than 30 people injured.

The Post says visiting Takiveikata had been on Mr Qarase's mind and he did so on Saturday, a few days after visiting the former lands minister, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, in Labasa Prison.

The newspaper says the two met and talked and Mr Qarase was happy to see that Takiveikata was well.

Takiveikata remains a vice president of Mr Qarase's ruling SDL party and retains his Senate seat and salary from prison despite having missed two consecutive sessions.