7 Mar 2005

Fiji court hears Tarakinikini stored arms at parliament

3:27 pm on 7 March 2005

A court martial in Fiji has been told that controversial army officer Lt Col Filipo Tarakinikini and Col Alfred Tuatoko stored arms for themselves in parliament during the Speight coup.

Radio Legend reports that this was disclosed in the prosecution's evidence by a military intelligence officer, Corporal Epeli Nalumaivuda, in the court martial of Corporal Lagilagi Vosabeci for his role in the coup.

Corporal Nalumaivuda testified that Lt Col Tarakinikini and Col Tuatoko each had an M-16 assault rifle and a pistol kept in a cupboard in a tea room in parliament.

The witness also identified a purported government gazette from George Speight's failed administration.

The Speight gazette named a new army commander to replace Commodore Bainimarama and a new chief of staff to replace Col Naivalurua.

Corporal Nalumaivuda also described a meeting in a Suva warehouse where the accused, Corporal Vosabeci, was present with his group.

The court martial continues.