Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Assassination trial gets underway - 02 February 2010

The trial for the eight men charged with conspiracy to murder the Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, the Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and former Finance Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry is now underway with the first state witness taking the stand before High Court Judge, Justice Paul Madigan.

The accused persons include Naitasiri high chief, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, Feoko Gadekibau, Barbados Mills, Sivaniolo Nailago, Metuisela Mua, Eparama Waqatairewa, Kaminieli Vosavere and Pauliasi Ramulo.

In court today Justice Madigan ruled that a name suppression application order which was filed by the State on Friday, be refused.

Justice Madigan ruled that the name of the witness be revealed as the matter is being heard in open court.

The first state witness, Lance Corporal Peniasi Kuli then took the stand.

State lawyer, David Toganivalu first asked Lance Corporal Peniasi Kuli about a meeting at Muanikau in September, 2007.

Kuli said he went with Ratu Inoke Takiveikata on that day but did not know that they were going to the house of businessman, Ballu Khan.

Kuli said when they arrived at the house, the CRW boys were working there.

He identified Vosavere, Waqatairewa and Ramulo.

Kuli said as they sat inside the house, Khan's wife Agnes prepared tea for Ratu Inoke, Khan and himself.

Kuli said in court that in the meeting they discussed plans to arrest Commodore Bainimarama.

Kuli said he then suggested to Ratu Inoke and Ballu Khan that the Prime Minister was to be arrested when he does his exercise.

Kuli said Ratu Inoke Takiveikata had allegedly told them that their plan was to bring down the Military Government.

Lance Corporal Kuli said he agreed to their plan, and after having tea he went with Ratu Inoke and got off in Suva.

He also revealed to state lawyer Toganivalu that after two days, another meeting was held at the Qaranivalu's house in Toorak.

Lance Corporal Kuli said Barbados Mills called him to say that his plan would be shelved.

Kuli said in the meeting Ballu Khan had allegedly said that the plan was to kill Bainimarama and to arrest members of the Military Council.

Toganivalu then asked Kuli to reveal in court who all were in the meeting.

Kuli said Ballu Khan, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, Barbadoes Mills and Sivaniolo Naulago were present.

He also revealed that Ratu Inoke had told them that there was another meeting in Sabeto on the weekend where the people of Naitasiri and Nadi would meet to discuss the plan.

The trial continues tomorrow as the defence lawyer, Akuila Naco needs more time to prepare himself.

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