29 Jun 2007

Fiji acting chief justice refuses comment on petition calling for his resignation

6:11 am on 29 June 2007

Fiji's acting chief justice, Anthony Gates, has refused to comment on a petition from some lawyers calling for his resignation and the reinstatement of the suspended chief justice, Daniel Fatiaki.

But the interim attorney general has questioned the motives of lawyers who are making the call in the petition which is meant to be sent to President Iloilo.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has told Fiji TV that the conclusions on the impartiality of the judiciary based on a Fiji Court of Appeal ruling this week are far-fetched.

He says the petition seems to say that because of the findings of the Appeal Court, the acting chief justice should resign.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says if anybody were honest about the actual ruling, they would find that some of the allegations made about Justices Gates are far fetched.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says some of the lawyers behind the petition may be driven by considerations other than the rule of law and integrity.

The president of the Fiji Law Society, Davnesh Sharma, says the matter is extremely sensitive and they will tender their opinion to the acting chief justice in due course.