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Qarase & Co. - Playing Dirty!

It must be quite embarrasing when members of the cabinet in current government and senators nominated by them get convicted by a court of law. Despite this, the government and in particular Mr. Qarase continues a his strong support for a couple of convicted criminals! What next?

Well next wasn't too far when both criminals quite conveniently got released to serve their sentences outside. Then yesterday it was revealed by the Attorney General that a bill was going to be introduced to the parliament soon, which if passed would see the Chiefs immuned from prosecution. So the chiefs are above the law now.

When someone like the Military Commander speaks out against the release of the criminals, some useless minister in charge of national security (laughable that such a ministry exists in the country), threatens him to shut up!

Of course Mr Army Commander is right. Their release is indeed a mockery of justice in this country. Does it mean that George Speight & Co. will also soon be released?

The actions of the government, the Commissioner of Prisions leads me to believe that the May 2000 Coup was indeed a success. Just look at all the MP's, Senators and other senior civil servants, reputations tainted by coup related accusations against them. Ratu Naiqama, Ratu Josefa Dimuri, Ratu Jope Seniloli, Viliame Savu, Ratu Rakuita, etc. etc.

Shameless acts like that of this government is exactly why coup like instabilities occur in this country. This government isn't about serving the people, especially the Indig-Fijians, it's about serving themselves and their friends first!

I won't be gagged - Fiji Times Online 20/04/2005
ARMY commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama says he will not be gagged if there is a need to speak out on issues of national importance.

He made the comment after Home Affairs Minister Josefa Vosanibola instructed the military chief to be silent on national security issues.

Commodore Bainimarama said if he felt there was a need to address the nation over the military's position on any issue, he would do so.

On Monday, Mr Vosanibola told Commodore Bainimarama that he could face disciplinary action if he continued to make public statements on issues affecting national security.

The row erupted after Commodore Bainimarama criticised the early release from jail of convicted chiefs Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu and Ratu Josefa Dimuri. The chiefs were sentenced to eight months in jail for their role in the unrest of 2000 but were released after 10 days in custody to serve the rest of their sentence outside.

Commodore Bainimarama said the pair's release made a mockery of the military, the police and judiciary.

He said a statement released to the media on Monday by Mr Vosanibola about their discussion on public statements by the military was one-sided.

"He should also let you know of what I told him. Ask him what I told him," he said.

Commodore Bainimarama said he was surprised Mr Vosanibola was threatening to take action against him for speaking out.

"What course of action is he referring to?" he said. Shortly after Commodore Bainimarama spoke to Mr Vosanibola, the army issued another statement on the release of Ratu Naiqama and Ratu Josefa, this time criticising the action of Commissioner of Prisons Aisea Taoka.

Army spokesman Captain Neumi Leweni said the absolute power given to Mr Taoka, his supervisors and the Minister of Justice should be exercised carefully and not used unilaterally.

"Not on how they want it, but how society will readily accept it," he said.

"Only then can the exercise of such power be seen as fair and just and not open to question by society."

Captain Leweni said society questioned the release of former Vice-President Ratu Jope Seniloli under a compulsory supervision order, Viliame Savu and now Ratu Naiqama and Ratu Josefa, to serve their terms extra-murally.

"There have been a lot of questions on the executive decision in the past few days.

"It appears that they will have to live with their conscience considering the secret forces in place before the actual release.

"Taoka should know that all prisoners, starting with George Speight, Ratu Jope, Savu, Ratu Naiqama, Ratu Jo Dimuri and the ex CRW soldiers, were convicted of various offences relating to the May 2000 upheaval and have something in common.

"He and his minister know fully well that the common factor here was that they were all found guilty of politically motivated crimes and should not therefore be classified as ordinary prisoners," said Captain Leweni.

He said Mr Taoka "tried to wriggle out of this widely accepted view by defining a political prisoner as one who is imprisoned without trial".

The Constitution states that the army commander's role is to "exercise military executive command of the forces, subject to the control of the minister".

Mr Vosanibola had said that this gave him the authority to have a say in the activities of the army.

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  • Blogger laminar_flow says so:
    5:05 pm  

    You're comments ring true of the depths of corruption in the SDL Government.

    In a utopian Fiji,

    The powers given to the Commissioner of Prisons must be reverted to a Parole Board type of entity.
    What's to stop the office holder from freeing his own family. No checks or balances in existing set up. This loop hole must be blocked.

    Introducing a Freedom of Information Bill and Corruption Bill in Fiji must be the corner stone of the 2006 election campaign.

    If I had my way, have the military snatch these Chiefs and subject them to the style of questioning found in Abu Gharib, Iraq. We will probably get down to the 1987 & 2000 coup financiers real quick.

    Those new laws on terrorism should be slapped on those convicted in the coup investigations.

    This Attorney General is a born swindler. It's too bad that the Fiji Law Society didn't have enough courage to maintain their ban on Qoroniasi Bale for misappropriating client funds.

    Then he begins his crooked style of
    advice. He and the other master minds probably advised Bainimarama to abrogate the 1997 constitution.

    Now the Fiji Law Society thinks Attorney General went too far. About time they raised a concern. Now the lip-service of this society is coming back to haunt them.

    These rhetorical courses and sympossiums on Good Governance and Transparency given to civil servants and the like funded by civil organizations in Fiji has been a facade all along.

    The Fiji Prosecutors Office summed it up recently.

    This is a bad precedent. When the nation had spent alot of time and resources on getting a conviction, then it defeats the purpose of having a trial. The legal logic is seriously flawed.

    How can one justify the cost of the court case when the mileage of the sentencing doesn't go far enough?

    I agree with the Army Commander Bainimarama in voicing his disgust even under threat from his own Minister.

    The sense of intergrity and fair play in Fiji has gone out the window.

    To make the matters worse, the SDL Government wants to win the next eletions. Their spokesman Jale Baba, jumped the gun and even announced an early election for Fiji even before Qarase or the Supervisor of Elections could officially announce the proposal.

    That means the SDL will stop at nothing to rule the roost again.
    However these misdeeds have not gone un-noticed by the Fiji public.

    They have been under-paid, over taxed and under represented. They're are tired of racial politics and seriously want something better than empty promises.

    Come the elections, they will get the last laugh. top

  • Blogger laminar_flow says so:
    3:11 pm  

    Further to my comment. The release of the chiefs recently is just the tip of an iceberg. There is something up Qarase and Qoroniasi Bale's sleeves.

    The way the SDL Government changes the rules in mid-stream. I'm sure setting an early election date, will set off complications for the other poltical parties.

    They know they have to work miracles to win the next one. Especially with the corruption levels and the stories of prostitution increase; even by females who have a steady job.

    PM evasive about early poll call
    Friday April 22, 2005

    http://www.fijilive.com/news/show/news/2005/04/22/Flive11.html

    Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase has evaded making a statement on whether he is contemplating an early general election.

    Although his Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua Party (SDL) is ready for early elections Qarase sidestepped all questions on the issue.

    He was questioned on a statement by the party's national director Jale Baba who said SDL was ready to go to the polls straight after the municipal elections in October.

    Qarase said in an interview that Baba would not make such a statement if the party were not ready for an early election.

    Asked whether he would consider an early poll using his party's reparedness as a trump card against the new parties Qarase, again very evasive, said he would give notice for an elections in due time.

    The Prime Minister said he wants to continue with the present session as there are still quite a number of issues to be dealt with before the next general election.

    Elections are due for June next year. top

  • Blogger laminar_flow says so:
    4:31 am  

    Another recent article places Priosn Commissioner in the hot-chair.

    The trouble is he doesn't explain why other prisoners who had applied earlier of the extra-mural sentence but were by-passed to give the guilty chiefs the nod.

    His lack of legal training makes him blind to the legal logic and the cost justification of prosecuting the case.

    It also makes him a mouth-piece of the SDL Government. It's these civil servant that don't have any ounce of intergrity. There is generally a lack of courage in Government to keep matters transparent.
    Without the Whistl-blower legislation and Freedo of Information Bills as well as a Coruption Bill has been deiberately left on the back burners.

    This Fiji Law Reform organization is as useful as a pimple. The Fiji Law Society is debating with it's role of being a honest-broker.

    The Fiji media, especially "The Fiji Times" has been considerably lax into producing scathing attacks on the inconsistencies of SDL policies.

    It has been able to operate in Fiji by taking a subtle appraoch to raising issues in Fiji Politics.
    They are also guilty.

    Fiji T.V monopoly status in light of the recent de-regulation of the telecom industry has escaped this move. It's all for a reason.

    The Government relishes its role as information gatekeeper, with much of Fiji's media following the game plan like sheep. top