4 Jun 2004

One of six accused applies for latest Fiji coup charges to be dropped

11:17 am on 4 June 2004

One of the six men charged with serious coup related offences with Fiji's vice president has applied for charges against him to be dropped.

The lawyer for Viliame Savu has told the Suva High Court that his client has already served a sentence after being found guilty for misprision of treason.

Mr Savu is now charged with taking an illegal oath to commit a capital offence and another of engaging in a seditious enterprise for being sworn in as a minister in George Speight's failed administration.

The Assistant director of Public Prosecutions, Greg Allen, says the application is a bit optimistic:

"Effectively, (he is) asking for a stay on the basis that he has already been charged with a treason-related offence. And he says that it is an abuse of the courts process for us to now be charging him with this one. Frankly, I don't rate the chances of that application at all, but we'll get a formal ruling on it on Monday. "

Meanwhile, two of the other accused are trying to have the trial put off till August which is the only time when they say their new lawyer will be available.