19 Oct 2004

Fiji police placed on alert after threats of riots over trial of Naitasiri paramount chief

8:50 am on 19 October 2004

Fiji police have been placed on full alert to cope with a riot during the trial on mutiny charges of a government senator and Naitasiri paramount chief, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata.

The Fiji Sun reports that the police spokesman, Mesake Koroi, has confirmed the alert, adding that their intelligence has received a threat which they are not taking lightly.

Mr Koroi says their intelligence department has been told that the people of Naitasiri are not happy their chief is being tried on charges of conspiracy to incite mutiny, inciting mutiny and aiding soldiers in an act of mutiny.

Mr Koroi says police are ready to face any troublemakers but he has called on those responsible to respect the law.

Another chief and close relative of the accused, Ratu Loco Qiolevu, is quoted as saying he has visited villagers suspected of being behind the riot threat and asked them to abide by the law.

Ratu Loco says Ratu Inoke should reveal the names of all those involved in planning the mutiny.

The High Court trial begins in Suva tomorrow.