Thursday, February 04, 2010

Court hears of kill plot

Fiji Times - Thursday, February 04, 2010

A PLOT existed to kill army commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and establish a new government, a military intelligence officer told the High Court in Suva this week.

In the trial of eight men charged with conspiracy to murder Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, Mahendra Chaudhry and Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, witness Lance Corporal Peniasi Kuli said there were also plans to attack the 3FIR armoury at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks, neutralise the military and run Fiji as a police state, seeking military assistance from New Zealand and Australia if necessary.

This was part of statements made before Justice Paul Madigan on Tuesday, who earlier that day denied an application by the State to suppress the name of the first witness Lance Corporal Kuli.

Naitasiri chief Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, former intelligence agency head Metuisila Mua, and former CRW soldiers Feoko Gadekibua, Barbados Mills, Sivaniolo Naulago, Eparama Waqatirewa and Kaminilei Vosavere have pleaded not guilty to the conspiracy to murder charges.

Lance Cpl Kuli told the court he had infiltrated the conspirators by telling Ratu Inoke that he wanted to be part of the plan.

He told the court that this was after meeting Ratu Inoke at his home in Toorak in September 2007. This journey is not good, the Qaranivalu said the government should be removed, he said.

Whilst we were talking he said Commodore Bainimarama should be killed and the military council removed, he told the court during questioning by State prosecutor David Toganivalu.

Lance Cpl Kuli said he told Ratu Inoke that he wanted in, as this would help him infiltrate and get to the root of things.

He said he then reported the meetings to his commanding officers at the military intelligence unit, to assess the situation and take necessary action.

Lance Cpl Kuli said there was a think tank in place to weaken the government. There was a think tank, they had a meeting at the Lagoon at Pacific Harbour he said. Mosese Nailumu, Ilaitia Tuisese, Bua Boro and Keni Dakuidreketi were part of the think tank.

When Mr Toganivalu asked what the think tank was for, Lance Cpl Kuli said: This think tank was there to plan and lay out a way to weaken the government in which the boys will be taking part.

Mr Toganivalu asked: What do you mean by boys, which boys?, to which Lance Cpl Kuli said: The CRW boys.

As first witness, he also told the court that Ratu Inoke had taken him to meet businessman Ballu Khan.

He said Mr Khan had paid him money for recharge cards in order to stay in contact with him.

Qaranivalu introduced me to Ballu Khan. We shook hands. Qaranivalu told Ballu Khan that I could also help and also had a plan, he said.

The court was also told of training programmes run by the former Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit soldiers who were employed by Ballu Khan.

Lance Cpl Kuli spoke of meetings at a farm in Sabeto and at the Fijian Teachers Association Hall in Knollys Street, Suva.

Defense lawyers Akuila Naco, Iqbal Khan and Mehboob Raza were to begin cross-examination of Lance Cpl Kulis testimony on Wednesday.

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