4 Mar 2010

Eight found guilty of plot to kill Bainimarama

4:36 pm on 4 March 2010

The High Court in Fiji has found eight men guilty of plotting to kill the country's interim prime minister Frank Bainimarama.

The eight are: Naitasiri high chief Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, former Fiji Intelligence Service director Metuisela Mua, five former Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit soldiers Feoko Gadekibau, Barbados Mills, Eparama Waqatairewa, Kaminieli Vosavere and Pauliasi Romulo and former Pacific Connex manager Sivaniolo Naulago.

The five assessors were unanimous in finding that the accused plotted to assassinate Commodore Bainimarama in 2007.

The Fijivillage website says this was upheld by Justice Madigan when he delivered his verdict a few hours later, finding them guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

The men will be sentenced on Thursday and could be jailed for up to 14 years.

Last week, the same men were acquitted of charges of conspiring to kill Fiji's interim attorney-general and former finance minister in 2007.

A barrister defending six of the accused says the hearing on Thursday has been taken up with pleas on behalf of the defendants, and expects that sentencing will take place on Friday.

Iqbal Khan says whatever the outcome, the case will be appealed.