29 Jun 2006

Former deputy speaker of parliament in Fiji serves rest of sentence extramurally

9:06 am on 29 June 2006

The former Deputy Speaker of Fiji's parliament, Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure, has been released from jail to serve the rest of his sentence extramurally.

Vakalalabure was jailed for six years in April 2004 after being found guilty of taking an illegal oath to commit a capital offence by purporting to become the attorney general in George Speight's failed administration during the coup.

The Fiji Court of Appeal ejected his first appeal against the sentence but a subsequent appeal to the Supreme Court recently resulted in the sentence being reduced to four years.

The Fiji Sun reports that the commissioner of prisons, Aisea Taoka, has confirmed that he has approved Vakalalabure's release as an extramural prisoner.

The attorney general, Qoriniasi Bale, has the final say on who is released as an extramural prisoner but he has not been available for comment.

Mr Bale has previously granted extramural releases to the jailed former vice president, Ratu Jope Seniloli, and a number of government ministers and senators sent to prison for coup related offences.