26 Sep 2005

Fiji senator Tora in custody pending sentencing for coup offence

1:52 pm on 26 September 2005

A Fiji government senator, Mohammed Apisai Tora, and 12 villagers from Sabeto near Nadi have been remanded in custody in Lautoka prison.

This follows their appearance in the Lautoka High Court for mitigation today after Justice John Connors last week found them guilty of a coup related offence.

The High Court guilty verdict came after an appeal by the director of public prosecutions against their acquittal by the Nadi magistrate's court in November last year.

Justice Connors convicted them on a charge of illegal assembly for seizing a military checkpoint and setting up a roadblock near Nadi International Airport at the height of the coup.

Justice Connors will sentence the men tomorrow.

Another Fiji government senator, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, is currently serving a life sentence for inciting the November 2000 army mutiny which claimed eight lives.

Yet another government senator, Ratu Josefa Dimuri, completed serving his extramural sentence last week after being sentenced for his role in the Labasa army mutiny during the coup.