25 Apr 2006

Fiji's government says no to compensation over Iraq killings

10:51 am on 25 April 2006

Fiji's government says it will not provide compensation to the families of the four Fijian security guards killed in an ambush in Iraq.

However it claims it will do everything it can to ensure the families are not financially disadvantaged.

The four were killed when the supply convoy they were escorting to the US airbase at Kirkuk was ambushed by insurgents.

Fiji's Attorney General condemned the killings but says the men knew the risks involved and were heavily insured by the companies they were working for.

Qoriniasi Bale says that the government will not offer compensation to the families because the four had signed private contracts.

"The government is not involved in the employment arrangement giving rise to them leaving our shores and their employment period in Iraq. If it is involved it'll be more in relation to ensuring that the employers meet all their contractual obligations."

Mr Bale was unclear on whether the killings would prompt the government to change its policy on the deployment of security guards overseas.