27 Apr 2007

Fiji President named as co-defendant in coup related case

9:52 am on 27 April 2007

Fiji's president and commander in chief, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, has been named as one of the defendants in one of the first coup related cases which begins in the Lautoka High Court today.

Fiji TV reports that the case has been brought by the sacked chief executive of the Sugar Cane Growers Council, Jaganath Sami.

He has also named the military commander and interim prime minister, Commodore Bainimarama, and the interim attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khayum, as the other defendants.

Mr Sami was first suspended by the military at the end of December but in mid January President Iloilo issued a decree sacking him.

Mr Sami's lawyer, Shalend Krishna, is now challenging the decree issued by President Iloilo, claiming the president does not have such powers.

The lawyer is claiming damages for the loss Mr Sami's contract as chief executive as well as damages for the overseas travel ban placed on him by the authorities.

Justice John Connors will hear the case.