8 Dec 2004

Trial of Fiji Lands Minister to re-open later this month

9:30 am on 8 December 2004

Fiji's minister for lands, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, is scheduled to re-appear in court later this month on charges related to the Labasa army mutiny during the coup.

Radio Fiji reports that Ratu Naiqama, government senator Ratu Josefa Dimuri and two Labasa chiefs have been charged with illegal assembly at the Labasa army barracks when the mutiny was under way.

The radio says the prosecution completed its case against the men last August after calling 13 witnesses.

When the trial resumes on the 21st of December, lawyers will mount their defence.

The mutiny was ordered from parliament by the leader of George Speight's gunmen during the coup, Ilisoni Ligairi.

Ligairi completed his jail sentence earlier this year and was released.