5 Aug 2004

Fiji army on standby ahead of treason trial verdict

6:21 am on 5 August 2004

Fiji police have thrown a security cordon around the capital, Suva, in the closing stages of the treason trial of the vice president, Ratu Jope Seniloli and five others.

They have set up checkpoints on key roads and are monitoring the movement of vehicles and people.

About 150 officers have boosted security around the High Court and the Government Building complex in which it is situated, to prevent any disruption.

One report says police have already warned a group of women from George Speight's Tailevu province that their plan to march on the capital is illegal.

The military spokesman, Captain Neumi Leweni, says the army is on standby to help police prevent a breakdown in law and order if asked to do so.

Both the military commander and the police commissioner have warned potential agitators that they will face the full brunt of the law and the mayhem of the 2000 coup will not be tolerated.

Justice Nazhat Shameem is due to sum up the treason case today before the assessors decide whether the accused are guilty.