11 Dec 2006

Verdict imminent in mutiny trial of Fiji's Sitiveni Rabuka

4:27 pm on 11 December 2006

A verdict is expected shortly in the trial of Fiji's former prime minister Sitiveni Rabuka on charges of inciting mutiny.

Eight soldiers were killed in the Queen Elizabeth military barracks in Suva, during a failed attempt by rebel troops to take over the facility in November 2000.

Mr Rabuka pleaded not guilty to charges relating to two incidents, one in July and one in November of that year.

Philippa Tolley reports from Suva.

"In the last 20 minutes, the assessors at the high court have come back with their opinions on the charges of inciting mutiny that have been laid against the former prime minister Sitiveni Rabuka. These are opinions only. the judge, Justice Gerard Winter will go away now and next return with a verdict. But the assessors have given a mixed result. For the first charge of inciting mutiny in July, only two out of five assessors found Sitiveni Rabuka guilty but on the second charge of inciting mutiny in November that year, four out of five have given an opinion of not guilty."