10 Dec 2004

Fiji Law Society asked to move on attorney-general

4:43 pm on 10 December 2004

The Fiji Law Society has been asked to ban country's attorney general, Qoriniasi Bale, from practising law.

Radio Fiji reports that the request has been made by the Citizens Constitutional Forum.

A complaint lodged by the CCF suggests that Mr Bale acted corruptly in the premature release of the jailed former vice president, Ratu Jope Seniloli.

The CCF's executive director, the Reverend Aquila Yabaki, says Mr Bale's name should be struck off from the list of legal practitioners.

The Reverend Yabaki says Mr Bale's role in advising the Great Council of Chiefs on the Seniloi's position after his jailing should have disqualified him from deciding on Seniloli's application to be released from prison under a Compulsory Supervision Order.

He says in deciding to release Seniloli, Mr Bale placed himself in a position of serious conflict of interest between his different roles as the attorney general and the minister for justice.

The Reverend Yabaki says the CCF is seeking legal advice about pursuing the matter further in court.

Meanwhile, Mr Bale says scathing personal attacks on him by the military have not taken a personal toll on him.

The head of the military, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has warned the country could be rocked by another coup unless Mr Bale is reined in.

But Mr Bale says the criticism has not affected him.

"Not at all, I can assure you of that. I do my job as I see fit and my conscience is absolutely clear. If anybody in the military disagrees with that, that's their call, not mine."

Mr Bale says suggestions that he could become the country's next vice president are ridiculous.