14 Sep 2007

Suva High Court rejects attempt to amend 2000 coup compensation claim

10:14 am on 14 September 2007

The Suva High Court has rejected yet another application to amend claims in a compensation case brought by a group of Fiji Labour Party MPs who were held hostage and traumatized during the George Speight coup in 2000.

The case has been brought by the prime minister deposed in the coup, Mahendra Chaudhry, and several other members of his government at least one of whom has since died.

The compensation is being sought from Speight, fellow treason convict Timoci Silatolu, the state, the military commander, soldiers of the now disbanded Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit, and the then police commissioner.

Yesterday, the lawyer for one of the plaintiffs sought to add damages for the destruction of his client's motor vehicle parked outside parliament during the coup.

But Justice Gerard Winter rejected the amendment and ordered that the case be called at a later date before the Master of the Court, Jay Udit, who would appoint another judge to hear the matter.

Several other compensation claims filed by Labour Party ministers and MPs deposed in 2000 are also before the courts.