4 Sep 2007

Suspended Fiji chief justice initiates action against acting chief justice

1:16 pm on 4 September 2007

Fiji's suspended chief justice, Daniel Fatiaki, is seeking a High Court order to have the acting chief Justice, Anthony Gates, vacate his chambers in Suva.

The Fiji Sun reports that the lawsuit which Mr Fatiaki filed against the interim prime minister, Commodore Bainimarama, and 13 other people including judges and magistrates, had its preliminary hearing before Justice Devendra Pathik yesterday.

Mr Fatiaki's lawyer, Jon Apted, filed an interlocutory order seeking to have Justice Gates vacate the chief justice's chambers.

Mr Fatiaki is also seeking to have his personal secretary re-instated to her post in the chief justice's chambers and to be responsible for all personal documents and items until the end of the case.

In his affidavit, Mr Fatiaki claims that he was informed by the acting chief registrar that he, Fatiaki, was not be allowed into the office and that there was to be no communication with him while he was away.

He says such instructions have never been issued by an acting chief justice in the 20 years that he had been a member of the High Court.

The case will proceed in October after three defendants, who are currently overseas, have been served with the necessary legal documents to attend.