14 Aug 2006

Fiji prosecutors ask for delay in Rabuka incitement trial

10:21 am on 14 August 2006

The prosecution in the case of the former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, who is facing a charge of inciting mutiny, has asked for a delay in his trial.

This is because the Fiji DDP's Office has to engage a new Queen's Counsel from Australia, Mark Tedeski, to conduct the prosecution because Jeremy Rapki QC will not be available.

Suva High Court judge Justice Gerard Winter will today set a trial date which is expected to be in November.

Rabuka has been charged with inciting Lt Col Viliame Seruvakula to commit mutiny by overthrowing the military commander, Commodore Bainimarama.

Rabuka is alleged to have done this on two occasions - first in July 2000 and then in November that year.

It was Lt Col Seruvakula who put down the November mutiny which was staged by the same Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit troops who had carried out the Speight coup in May.

The last of those troops were court martialled and jailed last Friday.