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Journalist Charged Over Speight Coup Exec-Orders

FIJI: Journalist 'drafted executive authority proposal' for Speight


SUVA (FijiLive/Pacific Media Watch): Media adviser Josefa Nata drafted a proposal for Fiji coup frontman George Speight to submit executive authority back to former President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, the High Court heard yesterday.

Nata, a journalist/publisher and former training coordinator of the now defunct Fiji Journalism Institute, is being tried for treason along with rebel politician Ratu Timoci Silatolu over their alleged role in businessman Speight's attempted coup on May 19, 2000.

Speight is serving a life sentence for treason on the prison isle of Nukulau, near Suva.

Nata told the court that he met chiefs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola and Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu on the morning of May 21, 2000 discussing how Speight and others had been showing a demonstration of disrespect against the President.

"I hastily drafted on a piece of paper a proposal which asked Speight to submit Executive Authority back to the President Ratu Mara, for Speight and his group to ask for them to be pardoned by the President, for the President to elect an interim government and for Speight to give his list of government ministers to the President,² said Nata.

Nata told the court he was then later dropped at Parliament on the morning of May 21, 2000 and gave Speight the drafted document.

"I told Speight that Ratu Inoke was liaising with Ratu Epeli Ganilau from Government House and he just laughed and said you must be joking,² said Nata.

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