7 Nov 2006

Pre-trial of former Fiji PM Rabuka continues amid media gag

2:02 pm on 7 November 2006

The Fiji military's claim of privilege was not disputed in the High Court today in the pre-trial hearing involving a former prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, who is alleged to have incited a mutiny aimed at killing the military commander.

The defence had earlier asked for the military to present documents related to their investigations over the 2000 coup and subsequent mutiny.

But, it did not challenge the military's claim of privilege today.

The decision follows another Court of Appeal ruling in a different case where privilege had been accepted.

Mr Rabuka is facing charges of inciting the mutiny in which eight soldiers died but the court is currently hearing his application for the case to be struck out.

The judge, Gerard Winter, has now ordered the media not to report on the arguments being put forward in the pre-trial hearing and said the ultimate decision on the arguments will be embargoed and not be made available until after the trial is over, if one is held.