5 Mar 2010

Fiji plotters sentenced to up to seven years in jail

4:47 pm on 5 March 2010

All eight men guilty of plotting to kill Fiji's interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, have been given jail terms during sentencing in the High Court in Suva.

The highest sentence of seven years was given to Naitasiri high chief, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, and a businessman, Sivaniolo Naulago.

The former head of the Fiji Intelligence Service, Metuisela Mua, was sentenced to three years and six months in prison.

The others being jailed are former Counter Revolutionary Warfare unit soldiers who have been given up to six years and six months of jail time.

The judge, Paul Madigan, said the plot was selfish, petulant and arrogant, and potentially highly destructive of the fabric of Fiji's statehood.

The group was arrested in 2007 and included the New Zealand-Indo-Fijian businessman Ballu Khan, who was acquitted of conspiracy to murder in 2008.