6 Jul 2004

Trial of Fiji's vice president shown video evidence

10:43 am on 6 July 2004

In a key decision, the judge hearing the treason trial of Fiji's vice president, Ratu Jope Seniloli, and five others, has ruled that video evidence of the events is admissible.

Fiji TV reports that Justice Nazhat Shameem made the ruling after defence lawyers raised questions about the issue as the trial entered its second week.

The court was shown video footage of a news conference where George Speight announced that treason convict Timoci Silatolu would be interim prime minister in the rebel administration.

This was followed by comments by another accused and current deputy speaker of parliament, Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure, that the coup makers had the support of the army and the police.

A state witness and Daily Post journalist, Josephine Prasad, confirmed that the video footage was a true account of what happened in parliament that day; where she was present.

Former Fiji TV cameraman, Trevor Whippy, told the court that he was present throughout the swearing in ceremony of the six accused into the rebel administration which he filmed.

This included the swearing in of Seniloli as the usurper president and the other five as ministers.