15 Mar 2006

Fiji military calls many witnesses in court-martial over 2000 mutiny

8:31 am on 15 March 2006

The Fiji military will call 48 witnesses to give evidence in the court-martial of eight members of the disbanded Counter Revolutionary Warfare unit.

The Fiji Times reports that the prosecutor, Captain Palolo Luveni, says that there's no dispute a mutiny had occurred, but the involvement of several of the privates and sergeats is being questioned.

Captain Luveni says the witnesses would show that the mutiny in 2000 was an organised act in defiance of military norms, culture and discipline.

Sergeant Ifereimi Vatutalei said he heard gunshots while sitting in his office and came out to see Private Vosabeci, holding a grenade launcher, who told him that they were taking over the camp, not because of him but because of those in charge.

A second prosecution witness spoke of seeing eleven armed personnel running across from the barracks, carrying M16 rifles.

Eight people lost their lives in the mutiny.