16 Oct 2003

Fiji PM to be sued over Monasavu dispute

4:58 pm on 16 October 2003

A Suva lawyer is to file legal action against Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, for interfering with his clients.

It follows a meeting Mr Qarase had with two of the seven landowning clans over their 26-million US dollar compensation claim for land at the main hydro power site at Monasavu.

Five of the seven landowning units snubbed Mr Qarase and refused to attend but he told the others that negotiations for the compensation could begin if all seven clans agreed to settle the case out of court.

But the lawyer for the landowners, Sireli Fa, has told Radio Fiji he will sue Mr Qarase.

"This afternoon we are suing the prime minister because the prime minister has no right to go and interfere with our clients while a court case is pending. And this thing has gone on for too long and we've let it go. But I think we have reached a stage where we have to take action against him. The documents are ready. We'll file it today. We were just waiting to see what he is going to do at this meeting."

Sireli Fa, the lawyer for the Monasavu landowners in Fiji