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Driti in court

November 20, 2013

Mere Naleba
Wednesday, November 20, 2013

THE High Court in Suva yesterday heard of plans that were allegedly in place to eliminate the life of Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Revelations also surfaced of plans to have him killed before Christmas in 2010.

This, among others, was revealed by State witness Lieutenant Colonel Manasa Tagicakibau who gave evidence yesterday against former Land Force Commander Pita Driti who is being tried on a charge of inciting mutiny and one of committing a seditious act.

He told the court the reason behind the alleged plot was a result of claims that the A-G was influencing the Commander of the Fiji Military Forces and Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama in making decisions for the country.

Giving evidence under oath, Lt-Col Tagicakibau said in September 2010, while he was still the commanding officer of the Logistics Support Unit based at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks, he was called to meet Mr Driti where he was told of plans to remove the government.

Lt-Col Tagicakibau said the former Commanding Officer 3FIR Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, called that particular morning saying that “plans are ready to be executed”.

He said Mr Driti and Mr Mara’s plans were to have an audience with Commodore Bainimarama to discuss issues regarding the country’s economy, which to them was “not well” and that the A-G was influencing the Prime Minister in making “critical decisions which was moving the government away from the intended chartered course”.

He said those alleged plans revealed that Mr Driti and (then) Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Aziz were to seek an audience with the President.

He said this was to happen when Commodore Bainimarama was visiting troops in Sudan.

The court heard that the two men were to request the President to dissolve the current administration and that Mr Driti was going to contact the Immigration Department to render Commodore Bainimarama’s passport invalid.

Lt-Col Tagicakibau also alleged that if the President did not sack the current administration, “they had no other option but to remove his excellency too”.

The court also heard that the plan was to contact Commodore Bainimarama while he was still in Sudan and tell him that he had been exiled from Fiji, and “his family will be sent to him in whichever country he wished to settle in”.

Other plans included the reinstatement of the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua party as the interim caretaker government leading up to a general election in 2011.

“The SDL government was to lead the country back to elections, the Great Council of Chiefs and the Methodist Church will be invited to QEB where an apology will be made to these two organisations regarding past matters and that foreign aid will also be invited into the country to strengthen the Fiji Military Forces from any further possible uprising,” Lt-Col Tagicakibau said in his testimony.

Posted by Rusi Varani for SWM

One Comment leave one →
  1. Rusi Varani permalink
    November 20, 2013 5:48 PM

    The one and only reason I posted this article was because of my desire to make my feelings known about the current illegal regime with regards to the allegations against Driti. I would like to say, on what I have read so far as reported here, that it was so unfortunate that the plot was not executed as planned. Given the enormity of the destruction that Khaiyum and Bainimarama has done to the country, especially to the sacred fabrics of Fijian society, I for one, among the majority of Fijians, would be happily celebrating the removal of the persons who are toying around with everything in Fiji as if its their own private properties. I tend to think that someone else will rise to the occasion and finish this unfinished business.

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