In February 2002, coup leader George Speight was sentenced to death for treason by the Suva High Court.
His death penalty was immediately rescinded to a life sentence by President Josefa Iloilo, upon the recommendation of the Prerogative of Mercy Commission, constituted under Section 115 of the Constitution.
A week later, Parliament changed the Penal Code to replace death penalty with life sentence for treason. The move wasinitiated by Laisenia Qarase’s SDL government.
Speight’s accomplices, Timoci Silatolu and Josefa Nata, were later imprisoned or given life for treason. All three are still in prison.
Also jailed was CRW founder Ilisoni Ligairi and Iliesa Duvuloco. Both are free men today.
Former Vice President Ratu Jope Seniloli and former Deputy Speaker, Ratu Tevita Vakalalabure, were also jailed for administering and taking an illegal oath, respectively. Both are also out of prison today.
Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu was jailed for a year and released two weeks later.