6 Jul 2004

Treason trial told that Fiji Government vehicles used to drive alleged coup accomplices

3:43 pm on 6 July 2004

The treason trial of Fiji vice president Seniloli and five others has been told that government vehicles and drivers were used to transport the accused to be sworn into the rebel administration.

Radio Legend reports that this testimony was given by the driver of the hostage prime minister, Senivalati Veitogavi.

Mr Veitogavi told the High Court that after the coup the government drivers were detained at parliament.

There one of the accused and current deputy Speaker of parliament, Vakalalabure, told them that they would function as drivers in the new rebel administration.

Mr Veitogavi said the next morning he drove under armed escort to Bau landing where he picked up Seniloli and brought him to parliament where he was sworn in as the usurper president.

Another state witness was a member of the deposed government and Fijian Association Party MP, Leone Tuisowaqa.

Mr Tuisowaqa told the court that after the coup some of the Fijian Association MPs including himself, Ratu Tu'akitau Cokanauto and Esira Rabuno, as well as some of the accused, were offered portfolios in the Speight administration.

Mr Tuisowaqa said the three left parliament to get dressed for the swearing in but after a meeting at Ratu Tuakitau's house they decided to reject Speight's offer and did not return to parliament.