Former premier held by police

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The Independent Online

The former Prime Minister of Fiji has been arrested by the country's autocratic regime on charges that he broke emergency regulations by holding public meetings.

Mahendra Chaudhry, who was elected in 1999 and overthrown a year later in a nationalist coup, was taken into custody on Friday with five other people. He is expected to appear in court today.

The Fijian police would not elaborate on the charges against him, but according to the Fiji Times newspaper, the arrest came after a meeting with sugar farmers.

Mr Chaudhry, who denies any wrongdoing, is leader of the Labour Party. He is a key voice of opposition to the regime of Voreqe Bainimarama, which came to power in a 2006 coup.