6 Nov 2007

10 people charged over alleged Fiji assassination plot

9:11 pm on 6 November 2007

Ten people have appeared in the Suva magistrate's court on serious charges in connection with an alleged plot to assassinate Fiji's interim prime minister, members of his cabinet and some military officers.

Radio Legend reports that the ten were brought in under heavy guard from various police stations in the capital and charged with incitement to mutiny and conspiracy to commit murder.

The Office of the director of public prosecutions decided to drop the charge of treason against the ten.

Their plea and the matter of bail for the accused have been deferred until Wednesday morning because of the lateness of the court appearance.

The 10 accused include the Naitasiri paramount chief and former government senator, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata and his brother in law and former senior military officer, Lt Col Jone Baledrokadroka,

Also charged are the former director of the dissolved Fiji Intelligence Service, Col Metuisela Mua, former MP Peceli Rinakama, and six former soldiers from the CRW unit which carried out the May 2000 coup and the army mutiny in November of that year.

Meanwhile, Fiji's police commissioner has denounced media reports that the police had threatened to arrest the director of public prosecutions, Josaia Naguilevu, and his assistant , Ashishna Prasad.

Radio Legend quotes Commodore Esala Teleni as saying these were misleading statements as he has been in close consultations with the DPP and there was no threat made.

The radio says it has been confirmed that the DPP was handling the case involving the alleged assassination conspiracy.

A source within the DPP's Office have confirmed that they were filing the charges against the first group of suspects who appeared in court this evening.

The source has confirmed that there was no truth in certain media reports that the DPP refused to file the charges and the proof was that the charges were filed by the DPP's Office.

The source said a rumour had been turned into a story and they are in the process of contacting the media outlets.