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Ah Koy Threatens To Sue Bune And The Fiji Sun

Pacific Media Watch Online: http://www.pmw.c2o.org

By Shameel Prasad

SUVA: The wealthy Ah Koy family has threatened legal action against The Fiji Sun and the former Agriculture Minister in the deposed elected People's Coalition government, Poseci Bune, for statements he made on Radio New Zealand, the Fiji Sun reports.

The family believes that claims made by Bune against businessman Jim Ah Koy and Police Commissioner Isikia Savua on Radio New Zealand on 22 August 2000 were defamatory.

A statement by the family said that they urge the interim administration and those in authority to expedite the public inquiry into the coup to establish the facts of the recent political events in Fiji.

Fiji Sun publisher Tony Singh said that the newspaper did not make any allegations but reported on statements made on an overseas radio station by Bune.

Singh said that the company's intentions were transparent and it would not make allegations that it could not substantiate.

He said that as a news medium, the newspaper would continue to report on statements made openly by prominent politicians.

Singh said that he spoke to the Ah Koys yesterday and offered publication of their side of the story.

Singh added that the newspaper had not published a number of stories despite obtaining documentation and recorded face-to-face interviews with key people for the sake of national security.

He said there were numerous sources that also heard the interview by Bune with Radio NZ.

Singh said that the newspaper respected Ah Koy's integrity.

* Persistent allegations over the coup have dogged former Finance Minister Jim Ah Koy which he has denied. On May 24, five days after the armed seizure of Parliament and the elected government, Ah Koy took full-page advertisements in the three national dailies denying involvement. His statement was also broadcast on Fiji Television but his bitter attack on the Chaudhry government while being held hostage at gunpoint was described by media analyists as "inflammatory".

Ends

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