16 Jan 2007

Fiji lawyers say interim administration is not legitimate

10:34 am on 16 January 2007

The Fiji Law Society says it does not consider the military appointed interim administration legitimate and does not endorse it.

The decision follows a meeting of the Law Society Council.

In a statement, the society's president, Davnesh Sharma, says their council does not agree with the actions of the military since the December 5th coup.

But Mr Sharma says the Law Society will deal with the administration because they are in effective control of the government through the force of arms.

Mr Sharma also says the Society will soon begin legal action against the administration for its temporary ban on land sales and for sending the chief justice, Daniel Fatiaki, and the chief magistrate, Naomi Matanitobua, on leave against their will.

The Law Society has called on the interim attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum to impress upon the military the importance of the independence of the judiciary.

It says the chief justice and the chief magistrate must be allowed to resume their duties as soon as possible.