22 Mar 2007

Former Fiji cabinet minister may sue after being interrogated by military for a third time

7:09 pm on 22 March 2007

A former cabinet minister in the Fiji government says he's considering legal action after armed soldiers took him to the military barracks and interrogated him for the third time since the coup.

Six soldiers picked a former Labour minister, Kenneth Zinck, up from his home at 4pm on Wednesday after comments he had made on TV as a union representative.

This followed an order by the Suva High Court for the Revenue and Customs Authority to re-instate its staff's pay after a five-percent cut across the board in the last pay.

Public sector unions look set to defy the government's emergency decree and strike over pay cuts announced in the budget.

Mr Zinck, the general secretary of the Revenue and Customs Authority's staff association, says he was questioned over comments deemed to be inciteful.

"They were objecting to my saying that the unions don't have the guns and the army do. My union used the judiciary to get our award and I was saying that its perhaps better to go to the courts and get a solution rather than go for a strike ballot and strike, which is confrontational."

Mr Zinck says he was only suggesting a way to resolve the current impasse between the unions and the government.

He says he could seek compensation for humiliation.