29 Jan 2007

Fiji lawyer pushes ahead with legal challenge to military and presidential decrees

3:36 pm on 29 January 2007

A lawyer in Fiji, Shalend Krishna, is pushing ahead with a legal challenge to the decrees passed by the military and the President following the coup.

Mr Krishna, who's representing the sacked chief executive of the Sugar Cane Growers Council, Jaganath Sami, says they are amending a claim and will file for damages before the end of this week.

This follows a High Court ruling which ordered the Fiji military to stop harassing, threatening or intimidating Mr Sami, who's in hiding after receiving threatening calls from the military.

Mr Krishna says while they are challenging the president's decree which terminated Mr Sami's employment, they are also contesting the decrees passed by the military in the wake of the coup that they be granted immunity.

"We're focussing on the constitutional redress more than the general damages. The constitutional redress being that all the decrees passed are ultra vires the constitution and therefore null and void; therefore making the interim government basically a non-entity."

Mr Krishna says he is concerned for his safety but he believes the court challenge is necessary.