23 Nov 2004

Tight security in Suva as trial of Fiji government Senator resumes

11:15 am on 23 November 2004

Security has again been tightened around the Suva courts ahead of the resumption today of the Fiji government senator, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata's criminal trial on mutiny charges.

This time police have taken the additional precaution of laying coils of barbed wire around the court premises.

Legal arguments in the trial have been completed with Takiveikata making an unsworn statement in his defence, meaning he could not be cross-examined.

Today the High Court judge, Justice Anthony Gates, will sum up the case for the five assessors before they are asked to reach a verdict.

Takiveikata is facing four charges of inciting and one charge of aiding in the November 2000 mutiny which claimed eight lives and caused more than 30 injuries.

If convicted, he faces a maximum of life in prison.