25 Oct 2002

Fiji court martial of 15 mutineers resumes in Suva

6:27 am on 25 October 2002

The court martial of 15 Fiji army soldiers charged with the November 2000 mutiny will resume in Suva today.

The judge advocate, Justice Sadal, has had two weeks to consider the evidence given during the trial and will deliver his summing up this morning.

The soldiers face the death penalty if found guilty.

The mutiny, which was aimed at assassinating the army commander Commodore Frank Bainimarama and freeing the coup front man George Speight, resulted in eight deaths and more than 30 injuries.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Peacekeepers Association has criticised the stationing of armed soldiers to guard the home of Justice Salal.

It says this will frighten and intimidate the judge and his family ahead of the summing up.

But Commodore Bainimarama says the soldiers have been providing security for Justice Salal since the court martial began last year.