12 Jan 2005

Fiji court rejects bail plea by government senator jailed on mutiny charges

12:02 pm on 12 January 2005

The Fiji Court of Appeal has refused to release on bail a government senator jailed for life for inciting the November 2000 army mutiny.

Radio Fiji reports that Ratu Inoke Takiveikata had applied for bail pending the hearing of his appeal against his conviction and life sentence imposed in November last year.

The radio says in considering granting bail, the court has to consider the chances of a subsequent appeal being successful.

In Takiveikata's case, the President of the Appeal Court, Justice Gordon Ward, ruled that he was not satisfied that Takiveikata had every chance of succeeding in his appeal and refused bail.

Justice Ward said the appeal would be heard in July this year and very little of the life sentence would have been served.

But the Appeal Court President has granted leave to the senator and paramount chief of Naitasiri to appeal against his conviction and life sentence.

Meanwhile, Takiveikata retains his senate seat and salary from behind the bars of Suva prison.

The November 2000 mutiny was aimed at assassinating the military commander, Commodore Bainimarama, and resulted in eight deaths and more than 30 injuries.