7 May 2009

Another Fiji officer convicted of manslaughter to be released

4:16 pm on 7 May 2009

It's been confirmed that approval has been given for the early release of another army officer convicted of manslaughter in Fiji.

Maika Vuniwawa was sentenced on April 7th this year to three years in prison for the manslaughter of Tailevu villager Nimilote Verebasaga in 2007.

Mr Vuniwawa's lawyer, Haroon Ali Shah says he is unsure if his client has been released from prison but says approval has been given for his release under a compulsory supervision order.

Mr Shah says his release was granted by the Commissioner of Prisons.

The case follows the early release of nine army officers and a police officer for the manslaughter of Sakiusa Rabaka.

But Mr Shah says it's not unusual for people to be released so soon.

"On the contrary we have had early citizens released within a day of two of incarceration. As a legal practitioner to me it doesn't seem odd but for people that have a sense of grievance, perhaps the immediate family might feel that its a little odd."

Haroon Ali Shah says Mr Vuniwawa will be strictly monitored and he is not sure if he will be allowed to return to the military.