30 Jun 2004

More Speight supporters named in Fiji's Seniloli trial

2:50 pm on 30 June 2004

A witness in the treason trial of Fiji vice president Seniloli and five others has implicated several of the accused for being present at a meeting called in parliament by the coup front man, George Speight, after he took the government hostage.

Radio Legend reports that the evidence has come from a member of the Chaudhry government and cabinet minister in the former Rabuka government, Leo Smith.

Mr Smith told the Suva High Court today the then SVT leader, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, who is now high commissioner in Papua new Guinea, volunteered to assist treason convict Josefa Nata in preparing decrees to be issued by the rebel administration.

Mr Smith said he was ordered to attended the meeting called by Speight where he saw Nata, former Rabuka finance minister Berenado Vunibobo, the leader of Speight's gunmen, Ilisoni Ligairi and Colonel Metuisela Mua.

Also present at the meeting were the current lands minister Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, the current sports minister Isireli Leweniqila, Senator Apisai Tora, former army and now NLTB lawyer Tevita Bukarau and Ratu Tua'kitau Cokanauto.

Mr Smith said Senator Tora suggested that the decrees should be prepared immediately.