26 Jul 2002

Fiji prime minister stands by appointed new chief justice

10:41 am on 26 July 2002

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, says the appointment of Justice Daniel Fatiaki as the country's next chief justice will remain despite criticism.

The Daily Post quotes Mr Qarase as saying the outcome of the supreme court appeal on the leader of the opposition Prem Singh's eligibility to remain a member of parliament will not affect the appointment.

Mr Qarase says he submitted Justice Fatiaki's name after consultation with the leader of opposition as required by the constitution and the final decision was made by President Iloilo.

He says the chair of the NGO Coalition on Human Rights, the Reverend Akuila Yakabi, was exercising his constitutional right in criticising the appointment, but it would not change his decision.

Meanwhile, Justice Fatiaki is reported to have said in the Labasa court house that he should be judged on who he is as he would do his best to uphold his new position and office.