15 Sep 2004

Fiji court asked to get chief as assessor in mutiny trial

4:09 pm on 15 September 2004

The Suva High Court has been asked to include a Fijian high chief among the assessors in the trial of a Fiji government senator and Naitasiri paramount chief who has been charged with inciting the November 2000 army mutiny.

Radio Legend reports that the request was put by Ratu Inoke Takiveikata's lawyer in a pre-trial conference today.

The lawyer said only a high chief would know the role of another high chief to his people, something common people would not understand.

State prosecutors also disclosed that they may have difficulty in getting one of their witnesses from the United States and a video link was agreed on.

Prosecutors also told the High Court that they have granted immunity to two key witnesses who will be called to give evidence when the trial begins on October the 13th.

The November 2000 mutiny for which Ratu Inoke Takiveikata has been charged was aimed at assassinating the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, and freeing George Speight.

It resulted in eight deaths and more than 30 injuries, including some civilians.