23 Nov 2007

Lawyer says Fiji military's treatment of suspect tantamount to torture

10:35 am on 23 November 2007

The lawyer for the New Zealander detained in Fiji for his alleged role in the assassination conspiracy says his client's treatment amounted to torture and reckless disregard for his health.

Auckland QC, Peter Williams, has also accused military police of arrogant indifference as to whether Ballu Khan lived or died.

Mr Williams says during his bashing Ballu Khan neither resisted arrest nor offered any provocation or justification for his treatment.

He has also linked Mr Khan's arrest and detention to his business rivals who are also applicants for mobile phone operating licences.

Mr Williams says that is why they have filed a writ claiming compensation of 25-million US dollars.

He says the compensation claim is for alleged battery and assault, and wrongful detention of his client.

Meanwhile, the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says Ballu Khan will not be allowed to leave the country and he will be charged for his role in the alleged conspiracy.