19 Nov 2003

Fiji judge laments pressure akin to contempt of court

7:42 am on 19 November 2003

A Fiji high court judge has hit out at attempts by former politicians and an ex-heavyweight boxing champion to pressure him on a case while it was still before the courts.

The Fiji Times reports that Justice Devendra Pathik made the comments in a judgement involving the Vanua Levu-based Valebasoga Tropic Boards Limited and its receivers, Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Justice Pathik said in the judgment that some busybodies and nosy parkers who had nothing to do with the case and other related cases had been interfering with his work as a judge which amounted to contempt of court,

He said it was most improper of a former heavyweight boxing champion of Fiji and also former politicians to approach him by telephone at odd hours of the day and also write to high-ranking bodies and people in cases involving the plaintiffs.

Justice Pathik said he had drawn the attention of the plaintiffs' lawyers to this interference so they could do the right thing by controlling their clients.

A former prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, has admitted calling Justice Pathik, but said he only wanted a speedy judgement because since the company went into receivership, all village scheme depending on the company had come to a halt.

Former boxer, Sunia Cama, has denied approaching the judge.