21 Nov 2005

Fiji court rejects appeal of five high-profile coup convicts

12:20 pm on 21 November 2005

The Suva High Court has rejected an appeal by five men convicted and jailed for their role in the May 2000 coup in Fiji.

They are the former army and NLTB lawyer, Tevita Bukarau; the former director of the Fiji Intelligence Service, Metuisela Mua; nationalist politician, Viliame Sausauwi, Eroni Lewaqai, and businessman, Jioji Bakoso.

In April this year, all five were jailed for terms ranging from two-and-a-half years to 15 months for illegal assembly and consorting with people carrying firearms in parliament during the coup.

But Justice Nazhat Shameem has dismissed their appeal saying the magistrate's court was correct in connecting the carrying of firearms and the events in parliament with the five men.

Justice Shameem said their acts were prejudicial to public security.