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No amnesty for Speight and rebels

REBELS including George Speight cannot be granted amnesty because all arms have not been returned to the military said army spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Filipo Tarakinikini.

The granting of amnesty under the Muanikau Accord was "conditional on the return of arms, ordinance and stores to the RFMF". In a historic event army commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, Speight and mediator the Turaga na Qaranivalu Ratu Inoke Takiveikata signed the accord at 10pm on July 10. Under the accord, soldiers involved in the takeover were to have been reinstated.

However some have decided not to return. "Some have turned up while the others have not and we do not know why," said Lt Col Tarakinikini. However Chief Magistrate, Salesi Temo last Friday handed down what could be a landmark decision which contradicted Lt Col Tarakinikini's statement.

Mr Temo acquitted Isoa Raceva Karawa who was tried for illegal possession of firearms and three counts of attempted murder under the amnesty decree. Lt Col Tarakinikini said they are still to discuss the legality of the matter. "I think the Chief Magistrate rushed in making that decision, because all arms have not been returned so how can there be amnesty."

Col Tarakinikini said a meeting between law makers and enforcers would be scheduled early this week to put in place mechanisms for a joint operation. "This is where we will thrash everything out because this lawlessness cannot go on indefinitely."

Fiji's Daily Post

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