7 May 2003

Suva high court to hear case of 56 Fiji mutineers

10:57 am on 7 May 2003

The Suva high court will now hear the case of the 56 convicted Fiji army mutineers imprisoned in Suva jail in June.

Their lawyer, Kitione Vuetaki, claims the men are unlawfully confined because they are held without a committal warrant being issued.

The respondents in the case are the attorney general, the minister for home affairs, the military commander and the commissioner of prisons.

A media report earlier said the military had sent the commital warrants after the soldiers' court martial sentence in March to the ministry of home affairs which sent it to the president's office.

The president has the powers to confirm the sentences, or reduce or increase them, but this has not been done.

After a hearing in chambers yesterday, Justice Michael Scott, gave Mr Vuetaki until June the 9th to file a writ of habeas corpus which will require the authorities to produce the mutineers in court.