20 Sep 2005

Fiji high court convicts Senator Tora on coup related charge

11:53 am on 20 September 2005

The Lautoka High Court has convicted the Fiji government senator, Mohammed Apisai Tora, and 12 villagers on a coup related charge.

The conviction follows an appeal by the director of public prosecutions against their acquittal by the Nadi magistrate's court last November.

Tora and the villagers had been charged with illegal assembly for seizing a military checkpoint near Nadi International Airport and setting up a roadblock at the height of the coup.

Justice John Connors ruled that the magistrate had misdirected himself by not taking into account binding decisions from similar cases.

Justice Connors convicted Tora and the others and will sentence them next Monday after hearing their mitigation.