23 Feb 2018

Fiji unionist claims intimidation, as case against him is dropped

6:38 pm on 23 February 2018
Felix Anthony

Felix Anthony Photo: RNZ

A prominent trade unionist in Fiji says he's not surprised the public prosecutor has decided not to push ahead with charges against him.

Felix Anthony, who is the head of the Trade Unions Congress, was arrested at the end of January over comments he made in support of striking airport workers in Nadi.

The workers had been locked out by the company Air Terminal Services, but were allowed to return when the courts intervened.

At the time, Mr Anthony said he was accused of "sabotaging the economy" by the police for remarks he made about the possibility of a national strike.

The director of public prosecutions, Christopher Pryde, today said the comments did not constitute any offence.

"It's no surprise," said Mr Anthony. "The excuse that was given was a lame one, the investigations were mainly to intimidate me and the trade union movement, and that it was improper that the workers of this country be denied the right to march, the right to protest."

Yesterday, the police rejected an application for a permit to march in Suva tomorrow, because of the charges Mr Anthony was facing.

However, Mr Anthony said the prosecutor's announcement today came too late to save that march.