30 Aug 2007

Two appeals filed against Appeal Court decision in Takiveikata case

10:00 am on 30 August 2007

Two separate appeals are reported to have been filed against the decision of the Fiji Court of Appeal to release a chief sentenced to life imprisonment for inciting the November 2000 mutiny and its order that he be retried.

Radio Legend reports that the appeals have been filed by Fiji's director of public prosecutions, Josaia Naigulevu, and the acting chief justice, Anthony Gates.

The Appeal Court has set aside the sentence against Ratu Inoke Takiveikata after hearing evidence from two witnesses and concluding that the sentencing judge in the 2004 trial, Justice Gates, was biased.

One of the grounds on which Justice Gates has filed his appeal is that the former president of the Appeal Court, Justice Gordon Ward, should not have sat on the panel which heard the case because he knew the witnesses on whose evidence the conviction was overturned.

Another ground for appealing the decision is that the Appeal Court allowed the introduction of new evidence which did not form part of the original trial for inciting mutiny.

The radio report says the decision on whether Takiveikata will face another trial will be made only after the Supreme Court has heard the appeal by Justice Gates and the DPP.

No date has been set for the hearing.