26 Jun 2003

Fiji mutiny trial defence lawyers seek adjournment until November

8:16 am on 26 June 2003

Defence lawyers for the remaining 25 Fiji soldiers charged with the November 2000 mutiny have applied for the court martial to be adjourned until November.

The three defence lawyers have told the president of the court martial they will either be out of the country for medical treatment or engaged in other High Court trials at various dates between now and November.

The army prosecution has objected to the applications made by Kelemedi Bulewa, Vodo Tuberi and Sevuloni Valenitabua.

Lt Col Mohammed Aziz said six military witnesses who were supposed to go on special duties to Iraq have been held back because of constatnt adjournments in a trial relating to events two and a half years ago.

The mutiny was staged in an attempt to assassinate the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, and free the coup front man George Speight.

It claimed eight lives and resulted in more than thirty injuries, including some of civilians living well away from the army camp.