20 Mar 2008

Fiji Times application to see written submissions of lawyers in Qarase court case rejected

11:36 am on 20 March 2008

Fiji's major newspaper has been refused access to written submissions of lawyers in the constitutional challenge case on the overthrow of Laisenia Qarase's government.

Fiji Live online says Fiji Times lawyer John Apted applied for leave application to obtain copies of written submissions presented in court.

He said Fiji Television Limited had the ability to broadcast, thus The Fiji Times' application is to seek the right to publish, if consented by the legal counsels.

Mr Qarase's lawyer Nye Perram supported Mr Apted's application saying while submissions were made orally, people needed to see for themselves the precise legal machine, how argument had been orally submitted.

But the State counsel Gerard McCoy QC opposed the application saying the presence of journalists in Court and the televising of the proceeding was sufficient.

The three-member panel of judges declined the application saying the High Court had allowed for a system where the public could follow the trial.