29 Jan 2003

Fiji police charge Government senator and villagers over illegal roadblock

8:15 am on 29 January 2003

Fiji police have charged a government senator and hardline nationalist, Apisai Tora, and thirteen villagers over a roadblock they erected after the May 2000 coup.

Senator Tora and the villagers allegedly took over a military checkpoint on the Queen's Highway junction leading to Sabeto village near Nadi and set up their own roadblock.

The incident took place while members of the Chaudhry government were held hostage in parliament after the coup.

Earlier, Mr Tora had campaigned vigorously for the overthrow of the Chaudhry government, saying it had to be brought down at any cost.

He led many protest marches against it, including the last one in Suva to divert attention as the coup was taking place in parliament.

Mr Tora was later appointed agriculture minister in the post-coup interim administration.