4 Nov 2004

Fiji senator trial hears from accused's first cousin

10:16 am on 4 November 2004

The first cousin of the Fiji government senator charged with the November 2000 mutiny, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, has testified for the prosecution in the criminal trial currently under way.

Radio Legend reports that Ratu Filimoni Qiolevu gave the Suva High Court details of meetings held from July 2000 onwards aimed at removing the army commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

Ratu Filimoni admitted that he was part of a delegation which had visited the army camp with Takiveikata in July 2000 seeking the removal of Commodore Bainimarama but this was rejected.

It was after this that meetings were held at the Naitasiri Provincial Council offices, at Vunidawa and at Tamavua village, all chaired by Takiveikata.

Ratu Filimoni said those present included members of the Naitasiri Provincial Council of which Takiveikata is paramount chief and soldiers of the Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit who carried out the mutiny.

Present at the Tamavua meeting was the current president of the ruling SDL party, Ratu Kalokalo Loki.

Ratu Filimoni said soldiers of the CRW unit made sketches of the army camp and drew up plans for the overthrow of Commodore Bainimarama.

At this stage, Ratu Filimoni told the plotters that he would not take part in any illegal activity.