30 Nov 2006

Rabuka gave "kill order" - witness tells court

7:58 am on 30 November 2006

A state witness in the trial of the former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, has told the Suva High Court he gave a "kill" order by mobile phone at the height of the army mutiny on November 2nd 2000.

Sainiana Tagi, an insurance employee, said Rabuka was present at a lunch hosted by her company that day when his bodyguard told her that Counter Revolutionary Warfare soldiers had taken over the army camp and kidnapped Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

She said a little while later she heard Rabuka say on his mobile phone, "What else are you waiting for? Kill him straight away."

Ms Tagi said the conversation was in Fijian and Rabuka was the only Fijian in the Sun Insurance Company boardroom.

Another witness, Reapi Emosi, who was part of the catering team at the lunch, said she heard people there refer to Rabuka as "The President" on more than one occasion.

She said during a phone call she heard Rabuka say, 'They thought that I wouldn't do it but now they will see."

Ms Emosi said as mobile phones began ringing, 6 of the 11 guests left before finishing their lunch while the rest including Rabuka and some Indian businessmen stayed.

The trial continues today.