18 Mar 2003

More associates of George Speight charged

3:49 pm on 18 March 2003

Four people closely associated with the Fiji coup have been charged with consorting with people carrying firearms and unlawful assembly.

The four are the former director of the Fiji Intelligence Service, Col Metuisela Mua, a former army officer and lawyer, Tevita Bukarau, businessman Jioji Bakoso, and Eroni Lewaqai.

The case was adjourned to March 31st after a fifth accused who is serving a prison sentence, Viliame Sausauwai, did not appear because a production order was not served on prison authorities.

They are accused of taking part in the burial ceremony of a coup rebel, Kolinio Tabu, at the parliamentary complex a few weeks after the coup when he was shot dead by armed soldiers.

His body was later exhumed and buried in his home village in Tailevu to enable the newly elected parliament to begin meeting.