13 Oct 2005

Salary of jailed Fiji senator stopped

11:13 am on 13 October 2005

A Fiji government senator jailed for life last year has finally had his senate salary stopped - more than 10 months after he was sent to Suva Prison.

Ratu Inoke Takiveikata is serving his life sentence for inciting the November 2000 army mutiny, which claimed eight lives and was aimed at assassinating the military commander, Commodore Bainimarama, and freeing George Speight.

Fiji TV reports that the secretary general to parliament, Mary Chapman, has confirmed that Takiveikata's salary was stopped from the beginning of this month, although under the law he should have lost his seat after he had missed two sessions of the Upper House.

The deputy opposition leader, Poseci Bune, says the parliamentary office should recover the money from Takiveikata or the secretary general should be surcharged.

Another Fiji government senator serving a prison term for coup related offences, Mohammed Apisai Tora, has been visited in jail by two high profile figures.

The TV report says the vice president, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, visited Tora in prison followed by the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, just before he left for his official visit to India.

Tora is in jail for eight months for unlawful assembly when he led a group a villagers to seize a military checkpoint and set up a roadblock near Nadi Airport during the coup.