Friday, 14 November 2008 4:22 AM

Fiji's Assassination Plot Suspect Freed

Ballu Khan, one of the main men accused of being part of the plot to assassinate Fiji's military leader and interim Prime Minister has been freed by Fiji's Supreme Court as it determined that police had infringed in Mr. Khan's fundamental human rights.

According to Fiji Times Online, presiding judge, Justice Andrew Bruce, 'recognised that unlawful detainment, failure by police to lay charges in reasonable time and denial of access to a lawyer had infringed on Mr. Khan's fundamental human rights'.

"On the basis of what I have found to be proved on the balance of probabilities, Mr Khan's rights were violated on a sufficiently egregious basis that to countenance such behaviour would indeed bring the system of justice under law in Fiji into disrepute if it was simply left to pass," Justice Bruce said.

The businessman, who holds New Zealand citizenship, had been on bail and under curfew since his detainment in November last year.

According to Fijilive, Mr. Khan recounted his ordeal saying that 'he was picked up and badly beaten by military officers, thrown into a police cell bleeding profusely before being taken to hospital'.

"I probably came very close to either being paralysed or killed. The most dangerous injury I had was at the base of my skull, and the doctors thought I had a basal skull fracture," he said.

'Khan said he was in severe pain and had two operations to remove blood clots' and that he 'was unable to walk for a long time with his weight dropping 'from 86kg to 72kg'.

'Khan said the police officers interviewing him were very professional and treated him well - in total contrast to being in hospital under 24-hour military guard, which was a frightening experience, where he was always being threatened, he said'.
He added that 'a picture had developed that he was a security threat, but he said he was definitely not involved with politics'.

Mr. Kahn's lawyer, Queen's Counsel Peter Williams, said that the judgment was "great day for Fiji", saying that, "It's a great day for Fiji to realise that you have a written Constitution in this country that sets out very clearly the right of every individual in this country that nobody has a right to lock you up or interfere with liberty in any way unless there is a legal justification."

Mr. Khan's team are planning to sue for compensation for the assault he received at the hands of the military and according to Fiji Times Online, the millionaire businessman has said that he has had enough of Fiji and 'he will leave the country for good after he was freed of conspiracy to murder charges'.