11 Dec 2002

Fiji's nomination of former chief justice to international court said to have run into problems

11:40 am on 11 December 2002

A report from Fiji says the government's nomination of the former chief justice, Sir Timoci Tuivaga, to be a judge of the International Criminal Court has run into problems.

Fiji TV says this is because the government did not fully disclose Sir Timoci's role in the purported abrogation of the 1997 Constitution after the May 2000 coup and other military decrees issued at the time.

The TV station says it has obtained documents given to the United Nations to prove this.

Sir Timoci's reputation was tainted by these revelations and led to repeated calls for his resignation by the Fiji Law society and NGOs.

The NGO Coalition for Human Rights strongly opposed his nomination to the International Criminal Court, saying Fiji had a much better candidate in Justice Nazhat Shameem.

The coalition's chair the Rev Akuila Yabaki, says the UN is also likely to consider the fact that Sir Timoci's nomination has been made by a government that is not fully constitutional.

Sir Timoci is reported to be 44th of 45 judges nominated for membership of the ICC.

The selection process is currently underway at the United Nations.