Thursday, March 04, 2010

Ballu Khan’s fate unknown

Fiji Village News - 04 March 2010

As the mitigation of the eight men found guilty of conspiracy to murder the Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama continues in the High Court, it is not known at this stage what steps will be taken in relation to Ballu Khan whose name was mentioned in court a number of times in the course of the trial.

Khan's name was mentioned a number of times in the evidence presented in court which was also highlighted by High Court Judge Justice Paul Madigan during his sum up yesterday.

Prosecution witness, Peniasi Kuli's evidence was highlighted where he talked about one of their first meetings with Ratu Inoke Takiveikata and Ballu Khan at Khan's house in 2007 where Ratu Inoke and Khan talked about the assassination plot and said that it was better if Kuli joined their group.

In another meeting at Ratu Inoke's home in Toorak, it was revealed in the Kuli's evidence that Ballu Khan was present with Ratu Inoke, Sivaniolo Naulago and Barbadoes Mills.

Kuli said they discussed the plan to kill the Commander and the take the Military Council because they were running the country.

In another meeting it was highlighted by Kuli that his group went to Ballu Khan's house to hear Metuisela Mua speak to them on some parts on how to overtake the government.

Kuli said when he got there he saw Mua, Ballu Khan, Pauliasi Namulo, Barbadoes Mills, and Khan's gardener.

He said Mua spoke to them and extorted them all to carry out the task from the first to last until a new government was in place. Kuli said after talking to them, Mua said he would not take part.

A few other meetings also took place at Ballu Khan's house and in Sofitel Nadi, where Khan was also involved according to Kuli.

Evidence was also heard that prosecution witness, Major Narawa met up with Ballu Khan on a deserted road somewhere.

According to Narawa the meeting was held at Khan's request as he was upset that he had not spoken to Major Narawa when an earlier meeting took place at the Sofitel.

Justice Madigan said to the assessors that details of the meeting between Khan and Narawa were withheld from them because Khan is not here to challenge anything Major Narawa might say about that conversation.

In his ruling yesterday, Justice Madigan said that Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, Feoko Gadekibau, Barbados Mills, Sivaniolo Naulago, Metuisela Mua, Eparama Waqatairewa, Kaminieli Vosavere and Pauliasi Namulo have each been found guilty by the unanimous opinion of the five assessors.

Justice Madigan then said that he is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that they conspired together with Ballu Khan and others between 1 August and 3rd November 2007 in Fiji to murder Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

He found the eight men guilty beyond reasonable doubt and convicted them of conspiracy to murder.

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