Naitasiri High Chief, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata has been taken to Nasinu Prison after he was sentenced to life imprisonment by High Court Judge, Justice Daniel Gounder earlier today after he was convicted of inciting the 2000 mutiny at Queen Elizabeth Barracks.
Justice Gounder has stressed in his sentence that Ratu Inoke is not eligible for parole for a period of eight years and he should not be released until March 2019.
In his judgment, Justice Gounder said Ratu Inoke will only be released after 4th March 2019 on a license and will be subject of recall to continue serving his life imprisonment if he breaches any conditions of his release.
Justice Gounder said Ratu Inoke was given the title of Qaranivalu to bring honour upon his people but instead he has brought them nothing but disgrace.
The judge highlighted that by turning the soldiers against their own Commander, eight soldiers were killed, 18 were wounded and two civillians were wounded by stray bullets outside QEB.
Justice Gounder said Ratu Inoke showed no remorse at all for his actions except for a plea of mercy from his defence.
He also said that after being released from his successful appeal, Ratu Inoke embarked on another dangerous venture to kill the Commander.
Then Justice Gounder directly addressed Ratu Inoke Takiveikata and he said and I quote ARatu Inoke, you pose a threat to the public safety and you will continue to be a threat to the safety and welfare of the public at large@ end quote.
The judge then raised serious concerns regarding the evidence given by Shane Stevens during the trial.
Justice Gounder said that Stevens who is serving a life sentence for mutiny was obstructive and was in contempt of court while giving evidence.
He said Stevens willfully refused to answer questions by the state counsel even after a direction from the Judge asking him to answer the questions.
Justice Gounder said Stevens responded to the questions by saying he could not recall even after his memory was refreshed from his written statement.
Judge Gounder said that observing Stevens demeanor in court, Stevens expressed anger towards the institution of justice and has shown absolutely no remorse for what he had done.
He said Stevens conduct leads him to conclude that Stevens refuses to accept responsibility for his crime.
The judge has ordered that his ruling in the Ratu Inoke Takiveikata trial and his concerns over Stevens demeanor be handed over to the Commissioner of Prisons for consideration when and if Stevens applies for parole or pardon in the future.
Ratu Inoke will serve the life sentence concurrently with the current 7 year term for the charge of conspiracy to assassinate the Commander and others.
Story by: Vijay Narayan and Roneel Lal
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