Speight case adjourned for another month
Issue No: 841 12 June 2001
The Chief Magistrate has again adjourned the preliminary investigation in the Speight treason case by a month. His ground was that Speight needed the time to find "adequate legal representation".
The delay is seen as a strategy used by the terrorists to get political interference in the case and have the terrorists released.
Today's Fiji Sun has given a scathing attack at the delays. It stated:
"The committal hearing of George Speight and his goons has been adjourned yet again, and like most other like-minded people, we are uncomfortable with the news."
"Chief Magistrate Salesi Temo wants a fair trial for Speight and his group. That is fine."
"But what of us, the victims of Speight's reckless, selfish and criminal acts of last May."
"What is fair about giving these terrorists, who held this country to ransom for several weeks last year, time off to look for their lawyers?"
"Where is the fairness to Mahendra Chaudhry and his group of government ministers and members who had to put up with the humiliating, horrific and traumatic conditions while held as hostages?"
"Where is fairness to the thousands of fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces who lost their jobs, or had their working hours reduced because of the political madness triggered by Speight and his band of merry men?"
"And while at it, how about all those who are now without their fathers, husbands, sons brothers and uncles who paid the ultimate sacrifice when they were murdered by Speight's supporters and later at the failed mutiny at the army camp."
"In other words, Mr Temo must consider the bigger picture."
"But when will that happen?"
"As a man learned in law, he knows very well that justice delayed can be justice denied."
"This newspaper believes that more than sufficient time has been given to Speight and his goons to find a lawyer."
"The continuing adjournment - the latest being for one month - is beginning to be a cause for real concern".
"Is it part of George's delaying tactics? It is no secret he wants to contest the next election. Who knows he might even win a seat and may become a member of the next government and may even push for his own amnesty?"
"But isn't this the same freak that did not give Mr Chaudhry and his government time to rule, not give the people of this nation time to judge performances."
"Why then should he be given more time?"
"Are we being taken for a ride?"
"The people of Fiji need to speak up. They need to tell the President, the Prime Minister, and authorities that justice must be served now or at least be seen to progressing in that way at least."
"The committal hearing must proceed without delay."
"Temo must be made to change his decision."
"We want justice delivered, not adjourned."