FIJI SOLDIERS FOUND GUILTY OF MUTINY

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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Aug.1)—Eight members of the Fiji army’s now disbanded elite unit have been found guilty on charges of mutiny by a court martial.

The former Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit members will be sentenced later this week.

The eight on trial were Private Beniame Sokiveta, Filimoni Raivalu, Jona Nawaqa,Ropate Nakau, Sergeant Keni Naika, Kalisito Vuki, Corporal Lagilagi Vosabeci and Lance-corporal Usaia Rokobigi.

Court martial President Colonel Apakuki Kurusiga said the court had unanimously convicted all accused, guilty as charged on the offence of mutiny.

The eight and 12 others were charged for staging a mutiny at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks, to over-throw the Army Commander Voreqe Bainimarama on November 2, 2000.

Colonel Kurusiga has asked the military lawyer Major Kitione Tuinaosara to present in court the service records of the accused soldiers before the mitigation for the eight is conducted.

Judge Advocate Lieutenant Colonel Graham Leung has assured that the panel would take its time deliberating on the sentencing of the eight accused as they needed time to carefully look at the issues.

The court martial will reconvene on Thursday, when the mitigation of the eight will be heard with the service record of the eight accused presented before the panel.

August 1, 2006

Fijilive: www.fijilive.com

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