6 Nov 2006

Fiji's Rabuka under curfew after mutiny pre-trial hearing

2:33 pm on 6 November 2006

Fiji's former prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, is now under a 24-four hour curfew following a pre-trial hearing on charges of inciting a mutiny.

The high court has also imposed a gag order, while the military has been ordered to hand over documents.

Linda Skates reports from Suva.

"High Court Judge, Gerard Winter, ordered Mr Rabuka to remain at his residence except for court appearances or to visit lawyers while the hearing is under way on whether he goes to trial on charges of inciting an army mutiny in November 2000. Mr Winter also told Mr Rabuka not to give any further interviews to the media, or statements, comments or articles, because the matters could touch on part of the trial. The military was also under order to hand over documents after a military lawyer, Amani Bale, informed the judge that they were privileged and wouldn't be provided to the court. Mr Winter says the subpoena remains in place and the documents relating to the military's investigations of 2000 must be presented tomorrow morning in court. He told Mr Bale that if the military forces want to claim privilege, then they need to take the relevant steps and apply for it. The key prosecution witness, Lt Col Viliame Seruvakula is returning from Afghanistan for the trial which is now expected to open on Thursday if it proceeds."