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Fiji Rebel Leader’s Trial Delayed

September 15, 2000

SUVA, Fiji (AP) _ Rebel leader George Speight and his key advisers appeared in court Friday on charges of treason stemming from a May coup in which the prime minister and most of the Cabinet were taken hostage.

Chief Magistrate Sailesi Temo adjourned the case, saying it could not proceed until the supreme court rules whether an amnesty granted to Speight by the military is valid.

Temo said he expected the High Court’s decision on Sept. 27, and ordered that Speight and his supporters be taken back to their island prison in Suva’s harbor.

The amnesty was granted to Speight and his supporters as part of a July deal that ended a 56-day hostage standoff at Fiji’s Parliament.

If convicted of treason, Speight would likely face a life term.

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