9 Jun 2005

Fiji MP denies ever demanding pardon for coup convicts

4:00 pm on 9 June 2005

A Fiji government MP who had demanded the pardon of all those involved in the 2000 coup is now denying he ever made such a demand of the Prime Minister.

Manasa Tugia, the new chairman of the parliamentary sector committee on Justice, Law and Order, says the suggestion was made up by the media.

Mr Tugia, who is also the whip of the Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua Party, was reported to have refused to become the lands minister in April after placing a series of demands on Laisenia Qarase.

He says one of his demands was that the government order an inquiry into the coup separate from the police investigations.

"I believe the truth hasn't been told, I mean what really happened. There hasn't been any official statement or investigation into how or why it happened."

The MP was appointed chairman of the committee in the absence of its Labour Party members who have boycotted it while it considers submissions on the Reconciliation and Unity Bill.