26 May 2004

Fiji coup-related trial hears evidence of attack on Labasa police station

9:29 am on 26 May 2004

A coup-related trial in Fiji has been told how women and children cried as rebels fired guns at the Labasa police station.

The Fiji Times says this was part of the evidence given by Constable Epeli Save in the trial of the lands minister, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, government senator Ratu Josefa Dimuri, and two Vanua Levu chiefs, the Tui Wailevu and Tui Nagodo.

The four have been charged with illegal assembly for their part in the mutiny by soldiers at the Labasa Military Barracks on orders from rebels in parliament during the coup.

Constable Save has told the Labasa magistrate's court he was on duty at a checkpoint in front of the Labasa police station on the day in question.

That was when the rebel group approached in a van, opened fire at the police station and attempted to seize it.

Constable Save said as he ran for his life to seek shelter, he could hear police wives and their children crying.

The trial continues today.