21 Jul 2006

Fiji row continues over release of coup report to Speight

1:52 pm on 21 July 2006

Fiji's military is appealing a High Court order to give its board inquiry report into the May 2000 coup to the rebel front man, George Speight, and his fellow treason convict, Timoci Silatolu.

Radio Legend reports that the order arises from a case for damages brought by the prime minister deposed in the coup, Mahendra Chaudhry, and 34 other members of the Fiji Labour Party.

They are seeking compensation from Speight, Silatolu, the attorney general, the then police commissioner, Col Isikia Savua, and the army commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, for loss of entitlements.

Speight and Silatolu had asked for the military's inquiry report into the coup which they claimed would help in their defence.

The army had refused to hand over the document, saying it was highly confidential.

But High Court judge, Justice Gerard Winter, ruled in Speight and Silatolu's favour.

The military has taken its appeal to the Fiji Court of Appeal with a hearing imminent.