20 Jun 2005

New Zealand police help sought in trial of Fiji Cabinet Minister

8:34 pm on 20 June 2005

A document analyst from the New Zealand police will help in the coup related prosecution of Fiji's minister for transport and civil aviation, Simione Kaitani.

Radio Legend says the state prosecutor, Ashishna Prasad, has told the Suva High Court that Kaitani and three others all signed documents in the nature of an oath to become ministers in George Speight's failed administration during the coup.

The New Zealand analyst will help verify that the signatures on the signed oaths belonged to the accused.

A Bau high chief and a Fijian Association Party MP at the time of he coup, Ratu Tuakitau Cokanauto, told the court that he and other members of his party had held meetings with Speight during which they were offered ministerial posts.

Ratu Tuakitau said when Speight allowed them out of parliament to freshen up before the swearing in, he told his party MPs not to take up the ministerial offers as the rebel administration was not legitimate.

He said he himself did not return.

Kaitani, Eroni Lewagai, Levani Tonitonivanua and Viliame Sausauwai are charged with taking an illegal oath to commit a capital offence for which the maximum penalty is life in prison.

The trial will resume on June the 28th.