2 Nov 2004

Takiveikata trial under way in Fiji's High Court

5:51 am on 2 November 2004

Two people who allegedly worked with a Fiji government senator and Naitasiri paramount chief in planning the November 2000 mutiny have been given immunity from prosecution.

Radio Legend reports that this was revealed by state prosecutor, Daniel Howard, at the start of the High Court criminal trial of Ratu Inoke Takiveikata.

Takiveitaka has been charged with four counts of inciting mutiny and one count of aiding soldiers in an act of mutiny which claimed 8 lives.

Mr Howard said that Metuisela Turagacati and another person known only as Kadi arranged a number of meetings between Takiveikata and members of the army's Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit including its leader, Captain Shane Stevens.

Mr Howard told Justice Anthony Gates that the two witnesses are expected to reveal how in August 2000 Takiveikata met with the now disbanded unit's soldiers to plan the takeover of the army's main camp and headquarters on the outskirts of Suva.

The state said the soldiers agreed to the mutiny on the grounds that civilian support would be provided which was allegedly confirmed by Takiveikata.

The two witnesses are expected to confirm that Takiveikata told them to gather hundreds of men from his farm to assist the mutinous soldiers but this did not take place.

Mr Howard also told the court that witnesses from the local mobile phone company, Vodaphone Fiji, will be brought in to present records of alleged telephone conversations between Takiveikata and Stevens before and during the mutiny.