16 Sep 2004

Five Fiji chiefs jailed for seizing police post

6:13 am on 16 September 2004

Five traditional chiefs from the province of Ra in Fiji have been jailed for seven months each, for seizing a local police post at the height of the Speight coup.

Fiji TV reports that the chiefs were among a dozen villagers who pleaded guilty to charges of forcible entry and unlawful assembly.

In mitigation, the chiefs admitted they had been used by people in parliament who were politically motivated.

The magistrate, Amani Rokotuinaviti, commended the men for pleading guilty.

But Mr Rokotuinaviti told them that it was unfortunate that they had been used by selfish people.

Several other villagers who pleaded not guilty will be tried later.