4 Aug 2006

Fiji court strikes out coup-related compensation bid

1:57 pm on 4 August 2006

The Suva High Court has struck out a coup related compensation case brought against the state, the army commander, Commodore Bainimarama, and the former police commissioner, Col Isikia Savua.

Radio Legend says the case was brought by the Fiji Labour Party, the Party of the National Unity and the Fijian Association Party which were coalition partners in the government overthrown in the coup.

The radio quotes Justice Gerard Winter as saying the lawyer for the plaintiffs, Wendall Archibald, had abused the process of the court and he could not allow the case to proceed because of his disobedient conduct.

Justice Winter said Mr Archibald had delayed the case on numerous occasions as the trial was scheduled to begin last year.

He said the lawyer had also failed to pay 2,600 US dollars as ordered for having Col Savua flown in from New York for the case.

Justice Winter has given Mr Archibald until the 11th of August to make the appropriate application or the case against the remaining defendants would also be struck out.

The remaining defendants are George Speight, 14 Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit soldiers, their leader Ilisoni Ligairi, and the leader of the agitation for the coup, Apisai Tora.