18 Jan 2007

Police remove Fiji's chief justice from chambers

3:49 pm on 18 January 2007

Police removed Fiji's suspended chief justice from his office today after he defied military orders and returned to work.

Justice Daniel Fatiaki was sent on leave by the military commander and interim Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama two weeks ago, pending an investigation into allegations of corruption in the judiciary.

However Justice Fatiaki arrived at work today, saying he was the chief justice and no one could remove him.

Prior to his removal he had slammed the appointment of Justice Anthony Gates as the acting chief justice.

"I think the appointment is a disgrace. It think it was a very unfortunate escalation and it is quite unnecessary. I was always available and if I hadn't been forced out and people professed that I'd gone voluntarily, why was it necessary to appoint an acting?"

Radio Legend reports that Justice Fatiaki was visited by three soldiers and five police officers, accompanied by the director of police uniform operations, Jahir Khan.

Mr Khan instructed Justice Fatiaki to go on leave and dropped him home in his car.