14 Nov 2006

Fiji police arrest man trying to bribe prosecutor in Rabuka mutiny case

2:23 pm on 14 November 2006

Fiji police have arrested a man who allegedly tried to bribe the prosecutor in the trial of the former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka.

An Australian QC, Mark Tedeschi, is said to have told police that a man confronted him outside the High Court in Suva this morning before the trial and asked him to lose the case in return for an inducement.

Police took the man into custody after Mr Tedeschi raised the alarm and are questioning him.

He says it's the first time anything like this has happened in his life.

Security has been further tightened around the High Court following the incident.

Mr Rabuka has been charged with two counts of inciting mutiny in July and November of 2000 when tried to persuade the then commander of the 3rd Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment, Lt Col Viliame Seruvakula, to overthrow and kill Commodore Bainimarama.

If found guilty, Mr Rabuka could face life in prison.

The court is currently in closed session to consider matters relating to an application by Mr Rabuka's defence counsel.