23 Jul 2004

Fiji government senator set trial date for mutiny charges

10:22 am on 23 July 2004

The Suva High Court has set an October trial date for a Fiji government senator charged with inciting the November 2000 mutiny.

Justice Anthony Gates has agreed to delay the trial to enable Ratu Inoke Takiveikata to bring in an Australian defence lawyer who is only available in October.

Ratu Inoke, who is also paramount chief of Naitasiri province, is facing four counts of inciting mutiny, one count of conspiracy to incite mutiny and a further charge of aiding soldiers in an act of mutiny.

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

Twenty-three of the soldiers who carried out the mutiny were found guilty by a court martial and sentenced last year while another 21 were found guilty this week and will be sentenced in early August.