12 Oct 2005

Fiji's military says government must withdraw the entire Reconciliation Bill

11:16 am on 12 October 2005

Fiji's military is insisting that the government's controversial Reconciliation and Unity Bill be withdrawn despite the prime minister's promise that its amnesty provisions will be amended.

The military spokesman, Captain Neumi Leweni, has told Radio Legend's Hindi language sister station that they want the Bill removed to ensure that none of the coup perpetrators are set free.

Captain Leweni says the military rejects the Bill in totality and not just a portion of it.

He says while the military is ready to protect the elected government, it will not allow the supporters of the 2000 coup to bulldoze their way through.

Captain Leweni says the military is not against the government but it is against the people who supported the crisis in 2000 and are still pushing for their agenda.

In its present form, the Bill will fast track amnesty for coup convicts like 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.

But the prime minister has promised that amendments will be made to ensure that the constitutional powers of the police, the judiciary and the director of public prosecutions are not compromised.