26 Feb 2004

Lautoka court says Fiji opposition leader 's comments about judiciary close to contempt

5:40 pm on 26 February 2004

The Lautoka High Court has warned Fiji's opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, that public comments he has made border on contempt.

The Fiji Times reports the comments were in relation to a company called Coral Sun, whose 41 employees have been locked out since November last year in defiance of an order by both the Ministry of Labour and the High Court to take them back.

Mr Beddoes is a co-director of the company.

Lautoka judge, Justice John Connors, has urged the company's lawyer to counsel Mr Beddoes regarding statements he has made to the media about the dispute.

Justce Connors said Mr Beddoes' statements were critical of the justice system and bordered on contempt.

The case between Coral Sun and the Fiji Sugar and General Workers Union, which has recruited the company's employees as members, is not due to resume until May 19th when several related issues are resolved by the Fiji Court of Appeal.