25 Mar 2003

Fiji senator Tora free on bail after being charged with coup offence

3:10 pm on 25 March 2003

A Fiji government senator has been released on bail after being charged with a coup related offence.

Senator Apisai Tora, who spearheaded the overthrow of the Chaudhry government, has been charged with illegal assembly at Sabeto near Nadi.

The charge relates to an incident in which Tora led a group of villagers to seize an army checkpoint and set up a roadblock to press for the appointment of Ratu Josefa Iloilo as president.

Tora and 11 other villagers who have pleaded not guilty will have their cases heard in October.

Three villagers who pleaded guilty have been convicted by the Nadi magistrate's court.

They have been put on good behaviour bonds.