Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Judge Acquits 8, Kill Charge Remains

Fiji’s High Court today partially acquitted the eight men on trial for an assassination plot to kill Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and certain members of his cabinet.

Justice Paul Madigan dismissed charges of the second and third counts laid against the eight on grounds that the evidence produced by the prosecution were “ambiguous” in relation to the charges of conspiracy to murder.

Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, Feoko Gadekibau, Barbedoes Mills, Metuisela Mua, Sivaniolo Naulago, Eperama Waqatairewa, Kaminieli Vosavere and Pauliasi Ramulo are now free on charges that they conspired to murder Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Mahendra Chaudhry.

The first count still stands and that is the plan to kill the Army Commander.

First accused Ratu Inoke Takiveikata has opted to give sworn evidence from the witness box as the case on the first count proceeds.
Five local assessors are also presiding over the case, now into its fourth week.

February 24, 2010

The majority of businessmen in Fiji including diplomats showed their support to Naitasiri paramount chief Ratu Inoke Takiveikata in the plot to assassinate the Prime Minister, the High Court in Suva heard today.

The revelation was made by Ratu Inoke himself while taking the stand in the trial where he and seven others are accused of plotting to assassinate the PM and members of his Cabinet.

Ratu Inoke said this information was relayed to him by Major Isireli Narawa, a State witness.

He recalled receiving a request from Narawa for a meeting at the Sofitel Hotel in Nadi while he was there to meet the chairman of the Ba Provincial council.

“Narawa told me they were ready to carry out the assassination and asked me to approach the New Zealand and Australian High Commissions to ask their assistance for weapons,” he told the court.

Rt Inoke said he had asked Narawa to leave instantly as he did not wish to be a part of any conspiracy.

Defence counsel, Akuila Naco asked him what his relationship was with the Government and the military to which he replied that he and his business partner, Ballu Khan always wanted to maintain a good relationship with them.

Rt Inoke said “We even put an advertisement in the newspaper on September 3 that we wished to hold talks with the Military Commander after facing a number of military interventions in our company; Pacific Connex Limited.”

This morning Justice Paul Madigan dismissed charges of the second and third counts laid against the eight on grounds that the evidence produced by the prosecution were “ambiguous” in relation to the charges of conspiracy to murder.

Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, Feoko Gadekibau, Barbadoes Mills, Metuisela Mua, Sivaniolo Naulago, Eperama Waqatairewa, Kaminieli Vosavere and Pauliasi Ramulo are now free on charges that they conspired to murder Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Mahendra Chaudhry.

The first count still stands and that is the plan to assassinate the Army Commander.

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