15 Jun 2006

Fiji's jailed deputy speaker gets sentence cut

5:21 pm on 15 June 2006

The Fiji Supreme Court has reduced the coup-related jail sentence of the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure, by two years.

Vakalalabure was sentenced to six years in jail for taking an illegal oath to commit a capital offence by being sworn in as the purported attorney general in George Speight's failed administration during the coup.

In imposing the sentence, Justice Nazhat Shameem had said that Vakalalabure was being jailed for six years because as an officer of the court who had sworn to uphold the law, he should have set an example to others.

Radio Legend reports that the president of the Supreme Court and Fiji's chief justice, Daniel Fatiaki, has ruled in favour of Vakalalabure's appeal.

Justice Fatiaki said Justice Shameem had started the sentencing with eight years for Vakalalabure while the others convicted with him had their sentencing started at a lower point.

Vakalalabure has served two years of his sentence and has another two years to complete.