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Speight’s application is under consideration: AG

Attorney-General Siromi Turaga says 2000 coup leader George Speight’s application for a presidential pardon is under consideration.

Speight, after spending over 20 years behind bars has applied under a mercy clause, which falls under the provisions of the 2013 Constitution.

Turaga, who also heads the Mercy Commission, said the application, like all others is going through the lawful administrative process.

The other four members of the Commission are appointed by the President on the advice of the Judicial Services Commission.

Under the Constitution, the Commission has the power to recommend to the President to exercise his power of mercy by granting a free or conditional pardon to a person convicted of any offence, postpone the carrying out of a punishment, either for a specific indeterminate period; or remit all or part of a punishment.

The process, from the time an application is made to when presidential pardons are issued can take up to a month.

Speight and 10 others were jailed for life in 2002 for holding hostage the then-Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry and his Government for 56 days.

He was arrested at a military checkpoint in July 2000 and detained on Nukulau Island with his accomplices while awaiting trial.

Speight was convicted of treason and sentenced to death; however the Mercy Commission in 2002 commuted the sentence to life imprisonment.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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