17 Jan 2006

Fiji court martial begins of mutiny soldiers

5:13 pm on 17 January 2006

The court martial for 20 former Counter Revolutionary Warfare unit soldiers begins in Fiji today with eight of them pleading guilty to charges related to the November 2000 mutiny.

The website Fijilive reports that the other eleven are trying to secure lawyers to represent them in the trial.

One of the defence lawyers Sevuloni Valenitabua says he is ready to proceed for pleas to be taken by his clients.

Mr Valenitabua says he is also ready to present statements of facts to the Prosecution and deliver mitigation and sentencing by Friday.

The former CRW members face charges related to the mutiny at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Nabua in November 2000.

Eight soldiers were killed in the mutiny.