26 Apr 2005

Fiji coup victims file amended claims

4:18 pm on 26 April 2005

Lawyers representing the deposed Fiji prime minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, and others today filed amended claims against the coup front man George Speight, fellow treason convict Timoci Silatolu, the police and the army.

Radio Legend reports that while filing the claims in the High Court, lawyer Vipul Mishra strongly objected to indications by Silatolu's lawyer that they will strongly oppose an earlier High Court decision not to strike out the claims.

Mr Mishra asked Justice Gerard Winters not to allow any further delays and set the hearing date as soon as possible.

Speight, who is representing himself, told the court he could prepare his defence against the new claims within a week.

Justice Winters has given the defence until May the 9th to file for all written submissions.

He is expected to set a hearing date on May the 12th when the pre-trial conference resumes.

Members of the Labour Party have filed for millions of dollars in damages arising from the overthrow of their government in the Speight coup.