FOUR FACE CHARGES IN FIJI COUP KILLING

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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 13) – Four suspects, including three jailed Counter Revolutionary Warfare (CRW) militia, are expected to appear in court today over charges involving the shooting to death of a policeman during the political crisis in 2000.

Constable Filipo Seavula was driving a police vehicle in Domain, Suva, and was shot at several times as he turned into Ratu Sukuna Road.

A post mortem examination revealed several gunshot wounds to his body.

The shots were allegedly fired from within a crowd of people on the street at that time.

Police Commissioner Andrew Hughes said one of the four faced a separate charge of attempted murder after his shot narrowly missed another police officer on patrol in a vehicle.

"One of these individuals will be charged with attempted murder of another police officer who was on patrol and responding to the incident at Fiji One TV where substantial damage was caused," he said.

"The patrol responded to that incident and a shot was fired which narrowly missed one of the constables in the vehicle. The three CRW soldiers are serving prison terms at the Suva Prison on other unrelated charges. The fourth civilian has served a term in prison for an unrelated matter.

"It's never been a closed file. It's always been an open file. The point I have been trying to make all along in these coup investigations is that as we make progress on one particular front, often that progress leads to some other matters," Mr Hughes said.

Four people have been jailed for life for shooting to death Corporal Raj Kumar in Sawani during the 2000 coup.

Among them was former police officer Leone Lautabui.

On coup investigations, Mr Hughes said they were liaising with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions on Lieutenant-Colonel Viliame Seruvakula's statement to police.

"That work is progressing well, negotiations and consultations with the DPP's Office have started in quite a number of allegations contained in that statement and the other evidence that we have to hand at the present time," he said.

May 13, 2005

Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.

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