4 Oct 2002

Fiji villagers jailed for post-coup occupation of rTurtle Island resort

10:37 am on 4 October 2002

Fourteen Fiji villagers who seized an island resort at the height of the post coup insurrection two years ago have been sent to prison.

The accused occupied the Turtle Island Resort offshore from Nadi International Airport and forcibly confined its owner, Richard Evanson.

They paraded banners saying they were owners of the land and were supporting the George Speight coup.

The Lautoka magistrate's court has sentenced the three ringleaders to 18 months imprisonment and the other 11 villagers to 12 months.

Earlier this week, Suva magistrate, Salesi Temo, freed a group of rebels who overpowered soldiers guarding the Monasavu hydro installations, damaged the power plant and disrupted power supplies for nearly two months.