12 Dec 2002

More names revealed in Fiji treason trial

10:41 am on 12 December 2002

The former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, and his finance minister, Jim Ah Koy, were telephoned by George Speight a day before he carried out his May 2000 coup.

This is part of the evidence given yesterday in the treason trial of Fiji coup accomplices, Timoci Silatolu and Josefa Nata.

Police detective Mesake Waqa told the High court an analysis of telephone records also showed that Speight also called his father, Sam Speight, nationalist Iliesa Duvuloco, Bau chief Apenisa Cakobau and several other people.

Detective Waqa said he was part ofa police team which raided the law offices of Suva lawyers, Vodo Tuberi and Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure on July 18th more than two months after the coup.

Documents siezed there showed Silatolu's appointment as deputy prime minister in the failed post coup administration and George Speight as prime minister.

The detective said he also found letters of appointment for Colonel Ulaiasi Vatu as commander of the Fiji military and Lt Col Filipo Tarakinikini as his chief of staff.

Mr Waga said there were copies of oaths and letters of appointment signed by Silatolu in his capacity as deputy prime minister in Speight's administration.

Other documents purported to show the revocation of Fiji's constitution and the appointment of Ratu Jope Seniloli as president.