1 Sep 2005

Fiji compensation case adjourned until end of September

10:18 am on 1 September 2005

Fiji treason convicts George Speight and Timoci Silatolu and the leader of their gunmen in the coup, Ilisoni Ligairi, have appeared in the Suva High Court again.

The case is in relation to a compensation claim of 21-million US dollars by two Labour Party MPs taken hostage during the coup, Lekh Ram Vyashnoi, and Gaffar Ahmed.

Also named as defendants are 12 former soldiers of the now disbanded Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit who staged the coup and are now in prison.

The state is another defendant.

Justice Gerard Winter has adjourned the case till September 30th after the lawyer for the former soldiers, Aquila Naco, said he needed more time to consult his clients because he had just taken on the case.

The compensation claim relates to being held captive for 56 days during which the plaintiffs were assaulted, the removal of a democratically elected government and the failure of the security forces to act to prevent the coup.