4 Dec 2002

Plot details told in Fiji treason trial

6:14 am on 4 December 2002

Details of the conspiracy to plan the May 2000 Fiji coup have been revealed in the Suva high court.

A state witness, Jone Vidi, was speaking in the trial of nationalist politician Viliame Savu who is charged with misprision of treason for having had prior knowledge of the coup but failing to inform the authorities about it.

Mr Vidi told the court that on May the 9th a meeting led by one of the coup planners, Peceli Vuniwa, was attended by George Speight, Iliesa Duvuloco, businessman Jioji Bakoso, Savu and some others.

Mr Vidi says Speight informed them that everything was ready for the coup as the army had confirmed in writing that weapons would be made available at 3 am on May the 19th.

On May the 15th there was another meeting where Mr Vidi was assigned to capture the president, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, from Government House.

The group was to be led by Speight's brother and Australian citizen, Jim Speight.

Mr Vidi said he told George Speight that he would not be able to go to Government House because Ratu Mara was his chief.

He was then assigned to go and close down Fiji TV, FINTEL, Telecom Fiji and the Fiji Electricity Authority.

Mr Vidi said the last meeting was on the night of May the 18th where George Speight promised that when he became the leader of the government , Vidi and his family would be paid for life and he would be given responsibility to run internal security for the state.