15 May 2002

Former Australian solicitor general warns about Fiji Labour leader Chaudhry

3:04 am on 15 May 2002

A former Australian solicitor general has warned any foreign lawyers undertaking a legal case for the Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, to obtain their instructions in writing and with witnesses.

Dr Gavin Griffith QC, who acted for Mr Chaudhry in the composition of cabinet case before the Appeal Court in February, issued the warning after the Labour leader published a letter in a local newspaper in which he claimed he sacked Dr Griffith.

Mr Chaudhry alleges this was because Dr Griffith had reached an agreement with government lawyers without his approval.

Dr Griffith has denied the allegation with detailed proof.

He has told the Fiji Sun that given his experience of Mr Chaudhry, who ignored propriety in favour of political expediency, it would seem the Labour leader would have difficulty in attracting reputable foreign counsel to act for him in future matters.

Dr Griffith also says that when Mr Chaudhry pleaded he had no money to pay for the case, he agreed to take it on for a nominal 10-thousand Australian dollars in place of the 100-thousand dollars usual in such cases.