17 Sep 2004

Rabuka to be prosecution witness in coup court martial

6:16 am on 17 September 2004

The former Fiji prime minister and 1987 coup leader, Sitiveni Rabuka, will be a military prosecution witness in the court martial of 64 soldiers charged for their involvement in the Speight coup.

Radio Legend reports that Mr Rabuka, who himself is yet to be cleared by police of coup and mutiny related allegations, has confirmed that he'll be a military witness.

Mr Rabuka says he'll provide evidence in the court martial proceedings about whatever he witnessed during the Speight coup.

The other state witness will be the retired soldier Ilisoni Ligairi who led the gunmen who took the Chaudhry government hostage.

Mr Ligairi has already served a sentence with Speight on Nukulau Island for his role in the coup and was released earlier this year.

The military spokesman, Captain Neumi Leweni has confirmed that the two will appear as prosecution witnesses when the court martial begins early next month.

Mr Rabuka set up the Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit which carried out the coup and November 2000 army mutiny and Mr Ligairi, a former British SAS officer, trained them.