27 Jun 2005

Nine Fiji villagers jailed for seizing power installations during coup

7:01 am on 27 June 2005

Nine Fiji villagers have been jailed for 18 months each for seizing the country's main hydro-electric power installations at Monasavu at the height of the Speight coup.

The nine had pleaded guilty to charges of going armed in public and setting up roadblocks at the hydro power dam.

They all asked the court not to send them to jail.

But magistrate, Salesi Temo, said he had no choice but to comply with the High Court ruling by Justice Nazhat Shameem.

Justice Shameem had ruled that all those found guilty of carrying firearms in public should be given a minimum of 18 months in prison and not a suspended sentence.

The seizure of the hydro station caused power blackouts on the main island of Viti Levu for two months.