Speight applies for Presidential Pardon
31 May, 2023, 10:30 am
Ultimately, the President will have to make the decision on whether George Speight will be granted his freedom.
Attorney-General Siromi Turaga said this as he confirmed to this newspaper that Speight has applied for a Presidential Pardon to the Mercy Commission.
He said it was no secret that Speight applied to the Fiji Corrections Service and that application was sent to his office as chair of the Mercy Commission.
“I don’t know why people are focusing on George Speight when it is a process open to many other prisoners all the time,” the A-G said.
Mr Turaga said the earliest that Speight could expect a decision would be in a month’s time.
The 2000 coup leader led an armed group of men into the Parliament complex in Veiuto on May 19, 2000, where he took then prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry and some members of his government hostage for 56 days.
Speight was arrested and taken into custody on July 26, 2000, and in February 2002 was convicted of treason and sentenced to death; the sentence was later commuted to life in prison by the then president Ratu Josefa Iloilo.