8 Nov 2002

Sentencing of Fiji mutineers adjourned again

11:18 am on 8 November 2002

Sentencing of 15 Fiji soldiers found guilty of mutiny in November 2000 has been adjourned following the intervention of a pro-government Christian group.

The soldiers were convicted on murder charges after their uprising at the military headquarters and could face the death penalty.

A defence lawyer Kelemedi Bulewa asked for the adjournment so that the Assembly of Christian Churches can give evidence on reconciliation between the racial groups of Fiji.

The assembly was formed after the coup of May 2000 and includes conservative pro-government churches.

Present at the hearing was the founder of the now disbanded Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit, Ilisoni Ligairi, who was summoned by the defence to give evidence in mitigation.

The Unit was involved in the coup but disbanded after the mutiny.