17 Nov 2006

Fiji's High Court hears of attempt to assassinate Commodore Bainimarama

12:14 pm on 17 November 2006

The Suva High Court has been told that there were attempts to assassinate the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, during the mutiny on November 2nd 2000.

This was part of the evidence given by the former Land Force commander, Col Jone Baledrokadroka, in the trial of the former prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, on two charges of inciting mutiny.

Col Baledrokadroka said he was at the swimming pool at the military barracks in Suva when he heard small arms fire and explosions.

He said gunfire was being directed through the windows of the Officers' Mess complex where Commodore Bainimarama was having lunch.

Col Baledrokadroka said the attempt to kill Commodore Bainimarama failed when he escaped with the help of his bodyguard and two other officers through the back gate.

He said he organized a ceasefire to evacuate the wounded and later learned that they were up against 40 to 50 highly trained troops of the Counter Revolutionary Warfare unit which has been set up by Rabuka after his 1987 military coups.