FIJI COUP VICTIMS TO FILE LAWSUIT

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Aug. 1) - Deposed member of the Fiji government who were held hostage at gunpoint during the 2000 coup are reportedly proceeding with a lawsuit claiming millions of dollars in damages.

Fiji TV reports that this is despite the death earlier this year of the former government minister who initiated the action, Isireli Vuibau.

Their lawyer, Wendall Archibald, says the former hostages are claiming damages for false imprisonment, loss of parliamentary pensions, mental injury, loss of liberty and personal suffering.

Some of the hostages say they are still having nightmares from their ordeal while others says they suffered loss of hearing after being hit on the head with weapons.

The defendants in the compensation case are the coup front man George Speight, the leader of his gunmen, Ilisoni Ligairi, the former police commissioner, Colonel Isikia Savua, and the military commander, Commodore Bainimarama.

August 2, 2004

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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