11 Feb 2009

Fiji's Rabaka trial hears of torture and sex abuse by soldiers

1:32 pm on 11 February 2009

A court in Fiji has heard about torture and abuse by soldiers standing trial over the killing of teenager, Sakiusa Rabaka, more than two years ago.

The Fiji Times quotes a witness as saying that the soldiers had seized four men on suspicion of buying marijuana and taken them to their camp.

It says the soldiers abused the detainees and forced one of them into a sex act with another.

The report says they were taken to a police station to give a statement but it was torn up, with one of the soldiers warning of the futily of any complaint because of the soldiers' immunity.

The killing of Mr Rabaka occurred just weeks after President Ratu Josefa Iloilo approved the military-led regime that emerged after the 2006 coup and absolved the coupmakers of any culpability for their actions.

The eight soldiers and one policeman, who are being tried in Lautoka, have pleaded not guilty.

Mr Rabaka died of injuries days after he was relased by the military.