8 Oct 2002

Fiji court martial expected to end this month

10:24 am on 8 October 2002

The court martial of 15 Fiji soldiers charged with the November 2000 mutiny is expected to end this month after intermittent sittings lasting more than a year.

Radio Fiji quotes the president of the court martial, Col Ilaisa Kacisolomone, as saying he is now waiting for the defence and the prosecution to give their closing submissions.

Col Kacisolomone says the delay in the court martial has been largely due to the frequent absence of the defence counsels on grounds of illness.

But he says he is confident that the case will conclude before the end of this month.

The closing submissions are expected today and the case will be adjourned for a week for the judge advocate to give his submissions to the president of the court.

Meanwhile, several groups of soldiers are still awaiting their court martial for serious offences.

One is a second group who took part in the Suva mutiny, another is against soldiers who took part in an army mutiny at the Labasa barracks and a third against soldiers who took part in the May 2000 coup.