Thursday, January 10, 2008

Military against Khan, says lawyer

1144 FJT
Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Update: 11.44am The lawyer for New Zealand millionaire businessman Ballu Khan says his client may have been implicated in an alleged assassination plot because of his business rivals' influence on the military, according to a report carried by New Zealand's TV3 News.

His lawyer, Auckland QC Peter Williams, said Khan was still a sick man, who was suffering the residue of injuries to his head, kidneys and body.

''But I think psychologically at least being at home now is going to be of a benefit to him," he told Radio New Zealand. ''I think it will be a while before he's a completely well man.''

According to the report, leaving the hospital yesterday amid police sirens, followed by negotiations with police and then the late night court hearing had been ''a bit like a day out of LA Law'', Mr Williams said. ''It was certainly a very robust and exciting day.''

He was not suprised by the charges laid against Khan, he said.

''He commenced a business here and he had rivals and we believe that they had influence on the military.''

''The military have been discriminating against him for some time long before this and of course as you know we have a military government here, so it's a complicated thing, but there's no doubt there's been malice against him for some time and I think that has come to fruition in these charges."

Police had vigorously opposed bail, wanting Khan in custody so they could interrogate him again, Mr Williams said. ''He's certainly not well enough to be in the police cells and we've got medical certificates to that effect.''

The New Zealand Government was sympathetic to the situation, Mr Williams said.

Mr Khan is the key suspect in the alleged plot to kill senior interim ministers and military officers.

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