9 Nov 2004

Fiji senator facing mutiny charges, and his lawyer, both accused of lying

4:00 pm on 9 November 2004

The Fiji government senator facing serious mutiny related charges and his Australian defence lawyer faced accusations of lies in the Suva High Court today.

Radio Fiji says the lying charge was levelled by the state's chief witness in the criminal trial of Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, Metuisela Turagacati.

Mr Turagacati was Taiveikata's main man in the mutiny but is now the chief prosecution witness in return for immunity from prosecution.

Lawyer Gabriel Wendler referred to Mr Turagacati's earlier testimony about a dream he had before the mutiny that Takiveikata would slay evil and become a government leader one day.

Mr Wendler said Mr Turagacati was a man gripped by a dream thinking that God had spoken to him and to achieve the dream, manipulated Takiveikata to his mission.

But Mr Turagacati laughed off the accusation, saying they were just lies put forward by Takiveikata and his lawyer.

Takiveikata is facing four counts of inciting mutiny and one count of aiding soldiers in a mutiny which claimed eight lives and caused more than 30 injuries.

If convicted, the government senator faces a maximum of life in prison.