11 Mar 2003

Fiji treason trial prosecuter says there is no doubt the two accused are guilty as charged

8:14 am on 11 March 2003

The treason trial of Fiji coup accomplices Josefa Nata and Timoci Silatolu, has been told of a flurry of telephone calls between George Speight and the two accused in the hours before parliament was stormed and the government taken hostage.

In his final summing up, prosecutor Peter Ridgeway told the Suva High Court that the 30 telephone calls started at 1.00am and ended just minutes before the coup at 10.40am.

Mr Ridgeway said Nata and Silatolu knew of and planned the coup with Speight.

He said it was no coincidence that Speight had called both men many times in the hours immediately before to finalise the details.

Mr Ridgeway said it was also fundamentally evident from their actions after the coup that both Nata and Silatolu had been involved in its planning and execution.

Mr Ridgeway said this amounted to treason.

He also revelaed that Speight had called the current vice president, Ratu Jope Seniloli, former finance minister, Jim Ah Koy, Bau high chief, Ratu Epenisa Cakobau and Suva business executive, Atma Maharaj in the 24 hours before the coup.

The judge, Justice Andrew Wilson, will sum up the case on Friday with a verdict expected next week.