22 Jan 2003

Telpac accuses Fiji state of breaking its own law

11:54 am on 22 January 2003

Fiji's cut-price telephone company, TELPAC, has accused state authorities of breaching the law after a recent police raid on its premises as part of efforts to close it down.

Fiji's director of telecommunications, Josua Turaganivalu, instigated the raid after bringing in retrospective regulations aimed at outlawing TELPAC's operations so Telecom Fiji and FINTEL can maintain their monopoly on international calls.

But TELPAC's lawyer, Dilip Jamnadas, has called on police to respect the law and not ignore court proceedings brought by the company against the government.

Mr Jamnadas says all parties had agreed in court that the status quo should remain until legal proceedings are resolved.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Trade and Investment Board has cancelled the business approval certificate it had earlier issued to TELPAC.

TELPAC says it will now bring the board into its case against the government.

TELPAC's chief executive, Tim Gibbons, has accused Mr Turaganivalu of ignorance and continuing in total disregard of Fiji's laws.