16 Aug 2005

Leading Fiji politician promises legal action if Reconciliation Bill passed in current form

9:12 pm on 16 August 2005

Fiji's former opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, has warned that he will take the government to court it if passes its controversial Reconciliation and Unity Bill in its current form.

Radio Legend reports that Mr Beddoes, who now leads the United People's Party, issued the warning on its sister Hindi language station, Radio Sargam.

Mr Beddoes says if the government disregards all the public opposition and protests against the contentious issues in the Bill and goes ahead with it without amendments, he will begin legal action against the government.

Mr Beddoes says he will seek an injunction in the High Court to stop the Bill.

He says the views of parliament's Justice, Law and Order committee, of which he is a member and which is reviewing the Bill, must be taken on board.

The Fiji Law Society and the military have also warned the government they will start court action if the Bill is passed while the police and the Human Rights Commission have expressed fierce opposition to it.

The Bill will set up a Commission to fast track amnesty for coup convicts like George Speight and government MPs, erase their criminal records, give immunity to those not yet prosecuted and ask the courts to suspend proceedings against those facing charges.