22 Feb 2005

Fiji diplomat acquitted on charges relating to 2000 coup

9:43 am on 22 February 2005

The Suva magistrate's court has acquitted one of six men charged with offences related to the May 2000 Fiji coup.

Rusiate Korovusere, the first secretary at the Fiji high commission in Canberra until 2000, was charged with unlawful assembly and consorting with people carrying firearms in parliament.

Magistrate Ajmal Kahn acquitted Korovusere after ruling that state prosecutors had failed to provide sufficient evidence.

Mr Khan said no witness had verbally identified Korovusere nor was he seen in any video footage with rebels holding firearms.

The trial of five others charged with the same offences as Korovusere will resume tomorrow.

They are the former director of the now disbanded Fiji Intelligence Service, Col Metuisela Mua, the former army lawyer Major Tevita Bukarau, Eroni Lewaqai, Viliame Sausauwai and Jioji Bakoso who have all chosen to give un-sworn evidence.