You’re a military commander who ousts the democratic government and establishes yourself as military dictator. Then you get upset when other members of the military attempt to oust you! Off to jail they go.
A Fijian high chief and seven others were jailed on Friday after being convicted of plotting to kill military dictator Voreqe Bainimarama.
High chief Ratu Inoke Takiveikata was jailed for seven years for his part in the alleged plot in late 2007, a year after Bainimarama ousted the elected government in a coup.
The other seven, who included five former members of a military unit who mutinied against military commander Bainimarama in 2000, were sentenced to terms of between seven and three years.
Fiji High Court judge Paul Madigan said the eight men had plotted the assassination with New Zealand-based businessman Ballu Khan, who won a permanent stay of proceedings on charges against him in 2008 and returned to Auckland.
Takiveikata was a business partner of Khan. The other accused worked for the controversial businessman.
The court had been told the plotters, who were infiltrated by military intelligence, planned to declare a police state and request Australia and New Zealand for assistance.
Fiji is supposed to be one of those South Pacific paradises about which we all dream. Unfortunately, Voreqe Bainimarama has turned his island into yet another tin-pot dictatorship of the sort that once littered Africa and Latin America.
So much for paradise!
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