3 Feb 2011

Former Fiji PM says interim government behind his detention under emergency regulations

2:14 pm on 3 February 2011

The former Fiji Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry has indicated that the order to charge him under the public emergency regulations must have come from the interim government.

The Fiji Labour Party leader was charged and detained for three days in October last year for breaching unlawful assembly regulations.

Yesterday the charges were withdrawn by the Director of Public Prosecutions due to insufficient evidence.

Mahendra Chaudhry says he's always maintained the charges were baseless, as he was meeting with sugar cane farmers in his capacity as general secretary of the National Farmers Union.

He says no one other than the government would have had the authority to order the police to lay charges against him.

"The police officers who arrested us and filed those charges of course, they said that they were doing it on orders from the top, that's what they said and I think they were not happy about it themselves, judging from the way that they spoke to us, but I think they had orders to do it."

Mahendra Chaudhry says he has written to the Prime Minister and the President seeking the lifting of the emergency regulations but has received no response.