19 Jan 2007

Fiji's navy commander charged with murder

7:15 pm on 19 January 2007

The head of Fiji's navy is on remand in prison after being charged with murder in the Suva Magistrates Court.

Fijilive reports that Francis Kean is alleged to have kicked a man to death during a wedding reception for the daughter of the military chief, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

A lawyer acting for Mr Kean, Abhay Singh, told the court that if bail was denied, the army would take him into custody.

Mr Singh said it would be too dangerous for his client in prison because it housed former counter revolutionary warefare soldiers and people involved in the 2000 coup.

However the prosecution's lawyer, Raymond Gibson, said there was a possibility the accused could interfere with state witnesses, who were junior military officers.

He reminded the court that the military's custody of Australian conman Peter Foster had ended in his escape to Vanuatu.

Mr Kean was remanded in Korovou prison until February 2nd.