18 Oct 2005

Fiji police and prosecutor have no say in supervised release

6:01 pm on 18 October 2005

Fiji's police and the director of public prosecutions have no say on the release of prisoners under compulsory supervision orders granted by the minister for justice, Qoriniasi Bale.

Radio Legend reports that this has been revealed as government senator, Mohammed Apisai Tora, applies for an early release under a Compulsory Supervision Order similar to the one under which the convicted former vice president Ratu Jope Seniloli was released.

The deputy commissioner of police, Moses Driver, has told the radio station that police are not consulted under the current Prisons Act and only the minister for justice makes the decision on a release.

The assistant director of public prosecutions, Raymond Gibson, has also confirmed the prosecutions office does not have a say on which prisoners may be released on Compulsory Supervision Orders or are allowed to serve their sentences extra-murally.

Tora applied to be released under a Compulsory Supervision Order last week after his application to be allowed to be released as an extra-mural prisoner was rejected.

Tora was jailed for eight months after being convicted of illegal assembly for seizing a military checkpoint and setting up a roadblock near Nadi International Airport during the coup.

Twelve Sabeto villagers also jailed with him were released as extramural prisoners last week.