9 Jul 2012

Immunity for Fiji regime important says Rabuka

7:03 am on 9 July 2012

The man behind Fiji's first coup Sitiveni Rabuka says immunity for the current regime is important for Fiji to move forward and return to democracy.

Mr Rabuka was given immunity from prosecution over the two military coups he carried out in 1987 and this was enshrined in Fiji's 1990 and 1997 constitutions.

Mr Rabuka earlier said a pardon for 2000 coup leader George Speight would be a catastrophe and pave the way for more coups but he says those who came to power through the 2006 coup have become accepted by the people.

"This government has demonstrated that they have been effectively in control. The people have not taken to the streets as we saw in Egypt and Libya. Therefore they have taken control of the country. They are the government of the nation and they determine the future steps which we accept on their terms."

But Mr Rabuka says constitutional immunity has its weaknesses and he tried to have these rectified in a failed proposal to the Great Council of Chiefs in 2006.