27 Sep 2005

Call in Fiji to stop wages to jailed government senators

6:50 pm on 27 September 2005

The Fiji Labour Party has called for an immediate stop to the payment of the salaries of jailed government senators.

Radio Legend reports that the call follows the jailing of Senator Mohammed Apisai Tora while his fellow government senator, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, has been in prison since November last year for inciting the November 2000 mutiny.

The deputy opposition leader Poseci Bune says it is morally and ethically wrong to continue paying Takiveikata although he is in prison for life.

Mr Bune says the same should be done for Tora who has been given an eight-month sentence after being convicted of illegal assembly for seizing a military checkpoint and setting up a roadblock near Nadi International Airport during the coup.

He says the administrators or chief executive officers should immediately stop the salaries of the senators until their future is decided.

Mr Bune says if this is not done then they are failing in their duties as custodians of public funds.

The prime minister who appointed the jailed senators, Laisenia Qarase, says the decision on their salaries rests with the president of the senate, Taito Waqavakatoga.