13 Nov 2004

Fiji court hears senior army officers behind mutiny

9:06 am on 13 November 2004

The Suva High Court has been told that some senior Fiji army officers supported the November 2000 mutiny which claimed eight lives.

The Fiji Sun says this has been revealed in the criminal trial of Fiji government senator, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, who is facing four charges of inciting mutiny and one of aiding soldiers in carrying it out.

Captain Shane Stevens, who is serving a life sentence for leading the mutiny, is now a prosecution witness.

Stevens has told the court that the late Colonel Ulaisi Vatu, who died earlier this year, had told him to take over the main military camp.

But Stevens said he had no knowledge whether Colonel Vatu had had any connection with Takiveikata.

Stevens also said that after the mutiny had been put down, Lieutenant Colonel Jone Baledrokadroka had visited him in hospital, kissed him on the cheek, and said, "wrong timing, you should have killed the commander."