2 Jun 2004

Fiji High court throws out application to abandon coup-related trial

3:57 pm on 2 June 2004

Fiji's High Court has thrown out applications by the vice-president and five others to have their trial abandoned over their alleged involvement in the 2000 coup.

Justice Nazhat Shameem denied a stay of proceedings and all applications to have the trial aborted which lawyers for Ratu Jope Seniloli and the others, had presented.

The assistant director of public prosecutions, Greg Allen, says the trial now looks set to go ahead later this month.

"'Her ladyship delivered her ruling to the effect that all pre-trial applications had failed - these being applications by various accused for a stay of proceedings and for adjournment. I'm yet to receive the reasons for the ruling but it was stated in court that we are going to proceed to trial on the 15th of June as scheduled."

Ratu Jope is charged with taking an illegal oath to commit a capital offence and another of engaging in a seditious enterprise.

Among the co-accused are the deputy speaker of parliament, Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure and minister, Isireli Leweniqila.

Two of the six defendants are now without representation and are making an application for the trial to be deferred.