18 Jan 2007

Fiji's acting chief justice to set up wide ranging inquiry into judiciary

11:29 am on 18 January 2007

One of the first tasks facing Fiji's acting chief justice, Anthony Gates, is to investigate serious allegations against the judiciary.

This will include allegations against the suspended chief justice, Daniel Fatiaki, and the suspended chief magistrate, Naomi Matanitobua.

The interim attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khayum, says despite the numerous complaints and allegations of judge shopping, malpractice, political bias and injudicious behaviour, they will leave it to Justice Gates to carry out his own investigations.

Mr Sayed-Khayum has urged all members of the legal profession, some of whom have been allegedly involved in the malpractice, to cooperate and assist Justice Gates in carrying out his inquiry.

Mr Sayed-Khayum says the terms of reference and the timeline of the inquiry will be up to Justice Gates.

Meanwhile, the suspended chief justice, Daniel Fatiaki, has attacked Justice Gates, Justice Nazhat Shameem and the interim attorney general saying they have all compromised the judiciary.