24 Jun 2003

Last court martial in Fiji over 2000 coup and mutiny

6:34 am on 24 June 2003

The court martial of the remaining Fiji soldiers charged with their role in the takeover of parliament in the May 2000 coup and the army mutiny in November of that year will resume in Suva today.

It includes a group of soldiers who were marched into parliament in support of the coup by Major Josefa Savua, the brother of the then police commissioner, Colonel Isikia Savua.

All those charged are being held in custody at the naval base near Lami.

The court martial was adjourned earlier because one of the lawyers, Kelemedi Bulewa, had to go overseas for medical treatment while another, Sevuloni Valenitabua, was engaged in the trial of treason convicts, Josefa Nata and Timoci Silatolu.

Nata and Silatolu will be sentenced on Friday.

Meanwhile, treason convict George Speight was reported to have been present in the capital, Suva, yesterday under minimum security, reportedly for dental treatment.

This is despite the military guarding Nukulau Island, where Speight is held for life, on grounds of national security.