20 May 2004

Insurance companies liable for Fiji coup losses

5:03 pm on 20 May 2004

Four years after the Fiji coup, the Suva High Court has ruled that two insurance companies are liable for millions of dollars worth of damages caused by the looting.

Lloyds of London and F.A.I Insurance had refused to pay saying their policies did not cover losses resulting from political insurrection and riots.

But Justice Devendra Pathik ruled the looting was for personal gain.

He said witness statements made it clear the rioters were nothing to do with George Speight and his group.

"as he made his way through the crowd he noticed people holding sunglasses, cameras and they sharing things among themselves and all that. This group of people were ordinary shoppers, and they had nothing to do with the taking of hostages and parliamentarians and the marchers."

Justice Devendra Pathik has now ordered FAI Insurance to pay Rajendra Prasad Supermarket 2.4 million US dollars in damages and has ruled against Lloyds of London in the case brought by Tappoo Holdings and Tappoo Limited.

They are claiming 3.5 million dollars in damages and have 14 days to apply for a court hearing which will decide how much money they are due.