13 May 2003

Former Labour Cabinet Minister launches legal action over coup

5:59 pm on 13 May 2003

A former Fiji Labour Party Government Minister who was held hostage after the May 2000 coup has filed a writ claiming damages from the Attorney General, the military commander and the former police commissioner, Col Isikia Savua.

Lekh Ram Vyashnoi's writ also names as defendants the coup front man, George Speight, three army gunmen and their leader, Ilisoni Ligairi.

Mr Vyashnoi is claiming general, aggravated, punitive and exemplary damages, as well as damages for loss of past and future earnings.

"I would like to see that justice is done. My right was sabotaged and snatched away and whatever recourse the courts decide"

Lekh Ram Vyashnoi

In March, 17 other members of the deposed Labour coalition government filed a similar writ in March claiming 15-million US dollars for conspiracy, assault and battery, kidnapping and false imprisonment.

They have claimed an additional 15 million US dollars for pain and suffering, humiliation and loss of enjoyment of life.

The group is also seeking an additional seven point five million US dollrs for the defendants wrongdoing and dereliction of duty.