7 Jul 2005

Fiji coup maker back in court in connection with compensation claim

8:13 pm on 7 July 2005

Fiji coup front man, George Speight, and fellow treason convict Timoci Silatolu have again appeared in the Suva High Court in connection with the compensation claim filed by members of the government they overthrew.

Radio Legend reports that the deposed prime minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, and members of his government are seeking millions of dollars in compensation for their early removal from office as a result of the May 2000 coup.

The radio report says that in a pre-trial conference, Justice Gerard Winters has revealed that the trial proper is likely to commence on the 26th of this month.

But there will be a further pre-trial conference to finalise the matters which will go to trial.

Mr Chaudhry and other members of his deposed government have brought the action against the coup perpetrators, the state, the attorney general, the military and the police.

But if the Qarase government's Reconciliation and Unity Bill is passed, any damages arising from the coup will be limited to what is stipulated in the Workmen's Compensation Act or under 18-thousand US dollars per person.