20 Feb 2006

Fiji prime minister visited prison to see former colleague

10:09 am on 20 February 2006

Fiji's prime minister is reported to have visited Suva Prison over the weekend to meet his former senator and SDL party vice president, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata.

Ratu Inoke is serving a life sentence for inciting the November 2000 army mutiny which claimed eight lives.

The Sunday Times reports that the officer in charge of the prison, Waliki Satakala, confirmed that the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase visited on Saturday morning but declined to give details.

The campaign director of the ruing SDL party, Jale Baba, said Mr Qarase usually visits Ratu Inoke in prison and had been talking about doing so again.

The visit came a day after the pro-coup Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua party members joined Mr Qarase's SDL party and made a request for the release of all prisoners jailed for coup related offences.