Friday, February 26, 2010

I couldn’t shoot Commander: Accused

One of the suspects accused of plotting to kill the Army Commander Voreqe Bainimarama did not shoot him although they were only 15 metres apart because he was not ordered to.

Former Counter Revolutionary Warfare soldier Barbados Mills today took the stand in the High Court in Suva before Justice Paul Madigan.

He along with Feoko Gadekibau, Sivaniolo Naulago, Metuisela Mua, Eparama Waqatairewa, Kaminielio Vosavere and Pauliasi Ramulo face murder charges.

Mills said on the morning of November 2, 2007 he was ordered to secure the Officer’s Mess.

Asked whether he knew if the Commander was present at the Officer’s Mess, he said he was not aware.

He said he could see that he was only 15 metres from the Commander but did not shoot him because it was not his orders.

“I was just given orders to secure the (Officer’s) Mess. When orders are given, we follow them.”

State prosecutor David Toganivalu suggested that he and Waqatairewa (one of the accused) were shooting at the Commander, to which he replied, no.

“We never did,” he said.

He agreed that when the firing was going on, the Commander’s bodyguards had to remove him from there and helped him escape down a slope.

Asked whether he knew that his orders were illegal, Mills said, “Orders are orders and they are meant to be followed”.

“The legality of orders are the responsibility of my superiors. There is a saying that goes, there are no bad soldiers, only bad leaders. The leaders are responsible,” Mills said.

The case continues.

Fijilive - February 25, 2010

Former Counter Revolutionary Warfare soldier Barbados Mills says his involvement in the alleged assassination plot against Army Commander Voreqe Bainimarama was because he was under threat from the military.

Taking the stand in the High Court in Suva, Mills, one of the eight accused, said, “whether we took part or not, we’d face the full brunt of the military”.

Mills today told the court that State witness Corporal Peniasi Kuli initiated the plot to kill the PM and members of his Cabinet, not his group.

He said Kuli had relayed to his group that the military council was not happy with the way the Commander was running the Government and that he was going in a direction, in contrast to what was being planned.

Mills said in one of their meetings, he asked Kuli what weapons they were going to use in the assassination and Kuli gave a verbal list.

“I was at the meeting because I wanted to see what he was up to. I wanted to see what was going to happen.

“It was never my intention to join him in his plan,” Mills told the court.

He said he never once called Corporal Kuli.

“Kuli was always calling me. He was harassing me, pushing me for this execution plan to go ahead,” he said.

Mills said he never trained with Kuli and his group at Wailase, Naitasiri.

State prosecutor David Toganivalu suggested that Mills had trained Kuli and his men to take over the 3FIR, to which he said, no.

“13 skilled CRW tried to take over the army camp but couldn’t. These guys are not skilled, it would be a bloodbath,” he said.

He added that the 3FIR was the most dangerous place in the military, the most populated and well-armed and it would not be possible for a small group to do it.

The case continues.

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