17 Aug 2007

Fiji interim administration rejects petition for reinstatement of Chief Justice

8:59 am on 17 August 2007

Fiji's interim prime minister says the suspended chief justice, Daniel Fatiaki, will only be reinstated if an independent inquiry team finds him not guilty of allegations leveled against him since the May 2000 coup.

Radio Legend says Commodore Bainimarama was responding to a petition signed by about 100 lawyers calling on President Iloilo to reinstate Mr Fatiaki immediately.

Commodore Bainimarama says it is pointless for the lawyers to petition the president because due process has to be followed before it is decided whether the former chief justice is reinstated or not.

The tribunal to investigate Justice Fatiaki is due to be appointed by the middle of next month.

Justice Fatiaki, who has remained suspended since January, is alleged to have helped draft decrees and provide legal advice to those involved in the Speight coup in 2000.

Last month officers of the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption removed his tax files from the Revenue and Customs Authority for investigation.