20 May 2006

Early release for Fiji coup convict Bukarau

9:19 am on 20 May 2006

A Fiji coup convict jailed for his role in the overthrow of the Chaudhry government six years ago has been released early to serve the rest of his sentence extramurally.

Fiji TV reports that the commissioner of prisons Aisea Taoka, has confirmed the early release of Tevita Bukarau, who is a former army and Native Lands Trust Board lawyer.

Bukarau, the former director of the Fiji Intelligence Service, Col Metuisela Mua, and nationalist politician, Eroni Lewaqai, were jailed in July after being convicted of illegal assembly and consorting with people carrying firearms in parliament.

All three applied to be released under Compulsory Supervision Orders in January this year after the High Court rejected their appeal against conviction.

Bukarau would normally have been due for release in 2007.