24 Sep 2003

Fiji case on Korovou unrest near end

5:46 pm on 24 September 2003

A magistrate's court in Fiji has completed hearing the case of a group of rebels involved in the forceful seizure of Korovou town in support of the coup three years ago.

Principal among the accused is the coup frontman George Speight's cousin Varenava Tiko, Tiko's father Iferemi, and five other villagers from Speight's home province Tailevu.

The accused seized weapons from soldiers, took over Korovou town, and held police and public servants hostage.

They have been charged with going armed in public, wrongful confinement, unlawful assembly, forceful entry, obstruction of a public road and larceny.

At one stage of the trial, Tiko wanted Speight to appear in court to give witness on his behalf but Speight declined.

Magistrate Amani Rokotuinaviti has adjourned the case until November 13 for sentencing.