FIJI GOVERNMENT, POLICE SUED FOR NEGLIGENCE IN COUP

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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, April 20) - Rajendra Chaudhry, the son of Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry is suing the Fiji Government, the police and the military for negligence.

He says the police and the military were well aware of a possible coup in May 2000 but did nothing to prevent it from taking place.

Chaudhry said the State as a sovereign body was bound by the actions of its agencies, which is why it is party to the proceeding initiated by him.

"They did not take the necessary steps to insulate the Prime Minister, Government Ministers, Parliamentarians and other staff against the threats," said Chaudhry who is currently studying law at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

"As a result of their negligence, I had to endure much physical torture and psychological trauma and am seeking compensation for these and related matters."

Chaudhry along with his father and others were held hostage in parliament for 56 days.

Chaudhry added that he was confident that the courts would find that the police and the military were negligent despite being forewarned of the armed takeover of the People's Coalition Government.

"The matter is currently on foot before the court system, largely because of the incumbent Government's failure to engage with the solicitors to discuss resolution of this matter in the interests of both parties," he said.

April 21, 2005

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