15 Oct 2003

Fiji villager convicted for torture during Korovou town seizure

9:36 am on 15 October 2003

A villager who tortured two police officers for five days during the Fiji coup has been found guilty of his part in the forceful seizure of Korovou town during the crisis.

The Fiji Times reports that Sailosi Basituka locked Constable Jitoko Filipe and Sergeant Levi Seduadua in a police cell in Korovou after they were taken hostage.

Constable Filipe identified Basituka as the man who poured water mixed with urine on them.

As a result of continuous assault and humiliating treatment, Sgt Seduadua collapsed and Constable Filipe had to plead with their captors to stop.

Magistrate Amani Rokotuinaviti was told that after medical treatment, further assaults and threats by a man armed with a machine gun continued.

The accused told the officers that he was sent to look after them from parliament where George Speight was holding the Chaudhry government hostage.

The seizure of Korovou town was led by Speight's cousin, Vaninava Tiko.