7 Feb 2003

Fiji senator to face charges connected to November 2000 mutiny

11:43 am on 7 February 2003

A Fiji government senator and high chief will stand trial later this year for his part in the November 2000 army mutiny in Suva which claimed eight lives.

Senator Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, who is the paramount chief of Naitasiri, and two other men have been charged with conspiracy to aid in the act of mutiny.

The Fiji Times reports that the Suva court has set two weeks in August to hear the case.

Ratu Inoke will be defended by Suva lawyer, Kitione Vuetaki, who previously appeared for George Speight and several coup accomplices as well as army mutineers.

Ratu Inoke was appointed a government senator by prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, after the 2001 general election.

Soldiers who were found guilty of the Suva mutiny were sentenced last year while another 56 found guilty of the Labasa mutiny were sentenced two weeks ago.

The chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, said this week that chiefs implicated in the coup and its aftermath should be brought to justice regardless of their status.