23 Jan 2015

Academic calls for transparency over Fiji TV fiasco

2:20 pm on 23 January 2015

A legal expert says an apparent abuse of power by Fiji's Attorney-General over media rights to last year's Rugby Sevens should be investigated.

Finance Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, announces Fiji's 2014-15 budget

Fiji's Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum Photo: Supplied

Sacked Fiji TV executives allege Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum broke the law and violated the constitution by interfering in the process to ensure a rival company, FBC TV, could also screen the tournament.

The government has said it just wants all Fijians to be able to watch the national team play rugby.

But professor Bill Hodge, of Auckland University, says the government needs to be far more open about what went on behind the scenes.

"On one hand, they are trying to reach the people which is a good thing and I guess a populist government would do that but on the other hand, the abuse of power looks like it is the same old same old military government rather than a democratically popular government subject to the rule of law."

In a statement, the Prime Minister has accused the opposition of being obsessed with scoring cheap political points by kicking up a fuss over Fiji TV.

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