10 Mar 2005

Fiji coup convict fails to have damages bid by his victims struck out

8:15 pm on 10 March 2005

The Fiji treason convict, Timoci Silatolu, has lost his legal bid to strike out the multi-million dollar damages claims filed against him and others by members of the government he helped depose.

Radio Legend reports that Justice Gerard Winters has rejected Silatolu's application.

The deposed prime minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, and members of his deposed government have filed six writs claiming damages from several defendants.

They include Silatolu, George Speight, the attorney general, the army, and the police commissioner at the time of the coup, Col Isikia Savua.

Silatolu has argued that the claims should be quashed because they are catch-all and do not single him out in particular.

But Justice Winters has ruled that Silatolu's argument could not be sustained due to poor reasoning but has told him to file further amended statements of particulars by April the 11th.

Justice Winters has set April 26th for a pre-trial conference and has ordered that Speight and Silatolu be produced in court that day.

He will then set a date when the damages claims will be heard.