11 Aug 2005

Jailed Fiji government MPs cleared to return to parliament

8:12 am on 11 August 2005

Two Fiji government MPs jailed for their role in the Labasa army mutiny at the height of the Speight coup will return to parliament after completing their sentences.

The Daily Post reports they are the former minister for lands, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, and government senator, Ratu Josefa Dimuri.

Both were jailed for eight months each in April this year after being convicted on a charge of illegal assembly.

But they were released 11 days later to serve their sentences extramurally by doing six hours of supervised community work a day.

The secretary general to parliament, Mary Chapman, has confirmed both will be attending the next session of parliament in October.

She says Ratu Naiqama was given special leave by the Speaker, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, to miss two sessions of parliament but will be back in the House once he completes his sentence.

Meanwhile, the Fiji government senator jailed for life last year for inciting the November 2000 army mutiny, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, has also retained his seat in the Upper House from Suva Prison.