7 Feb 2006

Fiji's military to file for stay on court order calling for it to produce documents on coup plotters

4:42 pm on 7 February 2006

Fiji's military will this afternoon file for a stay on an order by High Court judge, Justice Gerard Winter, to the military to produce documents which will show who was involved in plotting the May 2000 coup.

Radio Legend reports that the military believes the report of its board of inquiry into the coup should never be seen by civilian eyes because it would detrimental to the public interest.

Justice Winter had issued the order following an application by the coup front man, George Speight, and his fellow treason convict, Timoci Silatolu.

They want the documents to prepare their defence in a multi-million dollar damages claim filed by the deposed prime minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, and members of his government who were held hostage for 56 days.

Justice Winter had told the military that he would view the documents in his chambers before deciding whether Speight and Silatolu should be given access to them.

Military lawyers must file the necessary papers by this afternoon if the application for a stay is to be considered.