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Mozambique family of dragged taxidriver pressed to drop case: lawyer

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The family of a Mozambican taxidriver killed in police custody are being pressured by their own government to settle a law suit against the South African government out of court, lawyers said Monday.

Jurgens Bekker Attorneys said the family of Mido Macia were "being harassed and placed under duress".

The family is planning to sue the South African authorities over the death of Macia, who was filmed being dragged behind a police van and later died in police custody.

The incident caused worldwide outrage and a serious diplomatic dispute between the allied southern African nations.

Attorney Andrew Boerner said Mozambican government representatives were "applying pressure on the family" to end an agreement with his firm to sue South Africa's police minister.

The family had been contacted directly and the firm bypassed despite the Mozambican government being aware that the firm was acting for them.

"The behaviour... is driven to simply seek a political solution and avoid our clients bringing a civil claim," said Boerner.

The firm had advised the Mozambican government and South Africa's police minister not to contact the family directly.

Mozambican government representatives had also arranged for Macia's father Jossefa to travel to meet South African officials at the Mozambican embassy on Tuesday, the firm claimed.

Nine police officers have been accused of Macia's murder and will return to court next month.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130318/mozambique-family-dragged-taxidriver-pressed-drop-case-lawyer