30 Mar 2007

Fiji navy commander Kean pleads not guilty to murder

4:26 pm on 30 March 2007

Fiji's Navy Commander Francis Kean pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in the High Court in Suva.

Kean is charged with the murder of 32-year-old salesman, John Whippy, on December 31st at the Suva Yacht Club.

The Fijilive website reports that Kean remains on bail.

Judge justice Gerard Winter said the court will convene on April 19 to hear the matter again and discuss other pre-trial issues.

Kean is alleged to have punched Whippy to death after attending the wedding reception of Ateca Bainimarama, the daughter of the military commander Frank Bainimarama who at the time purported to be the president.

Whippy was the uncle of the bridegroom, and Kean the uncle of the bride.