2 Aug 2004

Illness forces Seniloli treason trial adjournment in Fiji

2:54 pm on 2 August 2004

Illness has again forced the adjournment of the treason trial of Fiji's Vice President Raut Jope Seniloli and five others.

Radio Fiji reports that Justice Nazhat Shameem has had to put off the case until tomorrow because an assessor was ill today.

Sixth accused Peceli Rinakama was to have given his unsworn evidence today.

The other five made unsworn statements last Friday meaning that they couldn't be cross-examined by prosecutors.

Seniloli said in his defence that being sworn in as president in Speight's failed administration during the coup was a joke.

Seniloli said he was in parliament during the coup to protect the hostage prime minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, and his son Rajendra, whom the rebels wanted to execute.

He said if he and the other five accused in the treason trial hadn't played their parts well, to calm down Speight, the men wouldn't be alive today.