FIJI ASSASSINATION CONSPIRATORS CAN MEET

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High court allows suspects to discuss case

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 10, 2008) - Eight suspects implicated in the alleged conspiracy to assassinate three interim Cabinet ministers have been given permission to meet outside of court sessions.

The High Court in Suva ordered the men could only meet in the presence of their lawyers to discuss their case.

Yesterday the court allowed six of the suspects to meet. They include Naitasiri paramount chief Ratu Inoke Takiveikata and former members of the disbanded Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit, Barbados Mills, Pauliasi Namulo, Eparama Waqatairewa, Kaminieli Vosavere and Feoko Gadekibau.

Justice Daniel Goundar relaxed conditions after the Director of Public Prosecution made no objection on the bail variation.

Instead, DPP lawyer Nancy Salele asked the court to impose similar conditions as outlined by Justice Devendra Pathik on co-accused, businessman Ballu Khan and former military Land Force Commander, Colonel Jone Baledrokadroka.

Last month, Justice Pathik granted Khan and Baledrokadroka permission to meet with their lawyers outside court sessions.

The two had argued their right to discuss their defense because they were jointly charged.

The initial bail conditions imposed restrictions on all accused from meeting each other outside court sessions.

It came after the State alleged the men met at different locations in Fiji to plot the assassination of Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, interim Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and interim Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry

In court, Justice Goundar ordered the men to notify the DPP’s office two days before any meetings.

Curfew hours that restrain the six men from moving around between 7pm to 6am were relaxed to 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Ratu Inoke was ordered to report to the Central Police Station once a week.

The former CRW soldiers do not have reporting conditions.

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