10 Apr 2007

Fiji military say former Prime Minister still banned from Suva

10:04 am on 10 April 2007

Fiji's military is insisting that the deposed prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, must remain in exile on his home island of Vanuabalavu in the Lau Group.

The Fijilive news website quotes the military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, as saying Mr Qarase will not be allowed to travel to Suva.

Earlier Mr Qarase had said he was hoping to return to Suva sometime after Easter.

Mr Qarase says he is confident he will be allowed to attend his court case against the military takeover last December because he is the main witness.

He says before he leaves Vanuabalavu he will instruct his lawyer to file legal papers in court to allow him to travel freely in Suva.

Mr Qarase has been at his home village since he fled Suva a day after the military overthrew his government.