20 Sep 2002

15 Fiji soldiers to face court martial for mutiny

10:34 am on 20 September 2002

Fifteen Fiji soldiers accused of mutiny must face a court martial after a judge rejected their lawyer's application that they have no case to answer.

The military says the 15 officers and soldiers of the now disbanded Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit are facing mutiny charges over events at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in November, in which eight soldiers were killed.

Court martial proceedings have been held behind close doors for the past week for deliberations over the application by their defence lawyers.

The application was rejected by Judge Advocate Sarvanand Sadal.

The army says the open court martial will resume on Wednesday.

In May 2000, soldiers of the unit sided with those who carried out a coup that brought down the government of the then prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry.