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Renegade Soldiers To Be Court Martialed

Issue No: 103 ; 11 October 2000

Fresh charge of treason has been laid on George Speight and his band of terrorists today. The charge of treason replaces the earlier charges.

Speight and the terrorists were brought to court today. In court, the prosecution withdrew the charges of treason from 9 of Speight's men who belonged to the military's Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit. The military will now court martial these 9. Eight of them have been transferred to the Military Barracks while the 9th will be sent back to Nukulau Island for an additional charge of murder.

The prosecution is assisted by 3 foreign lawyers in the case. Speight's lawyers are also assisted by an Australian lawyer. It is believed that a fundraising drive is continuing in Australia and Canada to fund the legal defense of Speight and his band.

The grounds for the amalgamated charge of treason are:

1.. The accused did together and with other persons unknown between May 1st and May 18th 2000 conspire to conduct an armed and illegal take-over of the parliamentary complex at Veiuto and hold the Prime Minister, his Cabinet and members of the House or Representatives unlawfully;

2.. The accused on May 19th 2000 seized by armed force the parliamentary complex and detained the Prime Minister, his Cabinet and members of Parliament;

3.. The accused on May 19th 2000 purported to form an illegal government styled as the Taukei Civilian Government, after the attempted overthrow of the lawful Government;

4.. On May 19th 2000 Ilikimi Naitani aka George Speight with the concurrence and encouragement of other accused and persons unknown allegedly tried to abrogate the 1997 Constitution.

5.. On and after May 19th 2000 Ilikimi Naitani aka George Speight with the accused and persons unknown purported to appoint a President, Prime Minister and other Ministers and others;

6.. Between May 19th and July 27th 2000, the accused did encourage civil commotion and unrest in and around Suva and other places in Fiji, for the purposes o destabilising and attempting to overthrow the lawful Government;

7.. The accused between May 19th and May 29th 2000 utter threats against the life of the lawfully appointed President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara;

8.. The accused on different dates between May 19th and July 27th 2000 breached the duty of allegiance owed by themselves to the lawful Government;

9.. On May 28th 2000, the accused did incite, aid and abet, counsel and procure the murder of Police Constable Filipo Seavula in the course of an armed insurrection to overthrow the lawful Government;

10.. The accused between May 19th and July 13th 2000 intentionally endangered the lives of the then deposed Prime Minister, members of his Cabinet, Members of the House of Representatives and other persons in the course of the armed insurrection to overthrow the lawful Government;

11.. The accused between May 19th and July 13th 2000 inclusive, aid, abet, counsel and procure various acts of looting, rioting and breach of peace in the course of the armed insurrection to overthrow the lawful Government;

12.. The accused did on May 19th and July 13th inclusive, unlawfully obtain arms, ammunition, ordinance, stores and personnel for the purposes of overthrowing the lawful Government;

13.. The accused on different dates between May 19th and July 13th inclusive, assemble themselves and others and array arms, stores, ordinance and personnel in order to deploy potential, threatened or actual force against the lawful Government.

END

11 October 2000.


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