13 Sep 2005

Fiji NGO seeks financial support to challenge early release of coup convict

7:41 pm on 13 September 2005

Fiji's Citizens Constitutional Forum needs funds to pursue a legal case which it believes is in the public's interest.

CCF executive Jone Dakuvula said the organisation needs more than $5000 to pay legal fees for its challenge against the early release of former Vice President Ratu Jope Seniloli from prison.

The Bau chief was sentenced to four years in jail last August for taking an oath of allegiance in the illegal government on May 20, a day after the takeover of Parliament by armed gunmen in 2000.

Ratu Jope was released from jail under a Compulsory Supervision Order issued by the Attorney General three months later.

CCF applied for a judicial review of the A-G's decision and was granted leave to pursue the case.

Mr Dakuvula told Fijilive the organisation did not have funds in its programme to pursue such cases.

He said the CCF raised $2000 and needed additional funds to see the case to the end.

Mr Dakuvula said people in Fiji were unresponsive because it was unusual to raise money for a case which was political in nature.

The Suva firm Law Solutions has taken on the case which is yet to reach the hearing stage.