11 Feb 2003

Court martial of 2nd group of Fiji soldiers on mutiny charges begins Thursday

9:07 am on 11 February 2003

The court martial of a second group of Fiji soldiers charged with the army mutiny in November 2000 which claimed eight lives will begin on Thursday.

Radio Fiji reports that the 25 soldiers who allegedly took part in the mutiny will be tried at the Army Officers Training School in Suva.

The soldiers have been held in custody for over two years awaiting trial.

Last year, 15 of their colleagues were sentenced to varying terms in prison while their leader, Captain Shane Stevens, was imprisoned for life.

A Fiji government senator and paramount chief, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, will stand trial later this year for his part in the Suva mutiny.

Senator Ratu Inoke has been charged with conspiracy to aid in the act of mutiny.

And last week the 56 soldiers who took part in the Labasa mutiny during the coup were sentenced after being found guilty.