23 Nov 2007

Fiji interim administration to fight huge damages claim

10:29 am on 23 November 2007

Fiji's interim administration says it will fight a multi-million dollar damages claim brought on behalf of a New Zealander who's detained in the country.

A lawyer for Ballu Khan, Peter Williams QC, has filed a writ in the Fiji High Court seeking compensation of about 25 million US dollars.

He says his client was beaten senseless by the military and wrongfully imprisoned.

Fiji's Interim Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed Khayim says the state will appear in court and the claim will be defended, but he won't say on what grounds.

"We've just been served with the writ. These matters are before the court so it is only discussed once the court hearing takes place. Let's not apply different standards in Fiji. I know we're a republic, of Fiji in the South Pacific, but that doesn't mean we drop our standards."

Fiji's Interim Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.

Mr Khan is yet to be charged over the alleged plot.

He was one of 17 people arrested over an alleged plot to assassinate Fiji's coup leader and self-appointed prime minister Frank Bainimarama.