12 May 2006

Fiji's Rabuka charged with inciting mutiny - due back in court in June

1:05 pm on 12 May 2006

The former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, has appeared in the Suva magistrate's court charged with inciting the November 2000 mutiny.

Mr Rabuka was charged and arrested in Suva late last night on his return from medical treatment in India and brought to a packed courtroom late this morning.

Mr Rabuka has also been charged with attempting to incite a person serving in the Fiji Military Forces, namely Lt Col Viliame Seruvakula, to commit a mutinous act aimed at removing the military commander, Commodore Bainimarama.

Mr Rabuka has been granted bail of 600 US dollars and ordered to present himself at the Nabua police station every Monday and Saturday between 6.00am and 6.00pm.

He has also been ordered to surrender his passport and not to interfere with witnesses.

Prosecutors have asked the magistrate to transfer the case to the High Court when Mr Rabuka next appears on June the 30th.

The mutiny on November 2nd, 2000, was staged by troops of the now disbanded Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit which Mr Rabuka set up after his two military coups in 1987.

It was put down by loyal troops of the 3rd Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment under the command of Lt Col Viliame Seruvakula.

The mutiny resulted in 8 deaths and more than 30 injuries.