2 Apr 2004

Another 61 Fiji soldiers to face court martial over 2000 coup and mutiny

7:15 am on 2 April 2004

Another 61 Fiji soldiers, including senior officers, are to face court martial for their role in the May 2000 coup and the mutiny the following November.

The Fiji Sun reports that this has been confirmed by the military spokesman, Captain Ned Taito, who says they have now completed their investigations into the coup and the mutiny.

He says the general court martial of the sixty-one will begin on May the 18th.

Meanwhile, the former commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion, Lt Col Viliame Seruvakula, who put down the mutiny, is reported to have given police the names of some senior officers for their roles in the two upheavals.

During the coup, Lt Col Seruvakula refused a cash offer of 156,000 US dollars to lead his troops in support of the overthrow of the Chaudhry government.

Police have confirmed that the names are with them and they are conducting their own investigations.

23 soldiers who took part in the mutiny were court martialed and jailed last year while another 21 are currently under military trial.