10 Apr 2010

Belief that immunity for coup leaders may be price Fiji has to pay

8:30 am on 10 April 2010

Fiji's coup leaders have given themselves immunity from prosecution for their past actions and anything they do from now on.

Some political exiles in New Zealand say it may be the price Fiji has to pay for free elections in future.

Ruth Hill reports.

"A spokesperson for the Auckland-based Coalition of Democracy in Fiji, Nik Naidu, says the decree will allow the regime to literally get away with murder in some cases. Many military personnel have never faced charges for extra-judicial killings. The decree gives total immunity to all involved with the coup in 2000, an attempted mutiny later that year, the last coup in 2006, and scrapping the constitution last year. Mr Naidu says he believes those behind the illegal coup will never give up power unless they're given immunity."