13 Feb 2007

Fiji Law Society reinstates suspended military lawyers

10:35 am on 13 February 2007

The Fiji Law Society has restored the practising certificates of six military lawyers it had suspended soon after the December takeover.

The matter was resolved at a meeting between the Fiji Human Rights Commission director, Dr Shaista Shameem, and the Fiji Law Society presided over by the acting chief justice, Justice Anthony Gates.

The military lawyers were alleged to have provided advice which led to the military takeover and the removal of the Qarase government.

The Law Society had suspended their practising certificates without giving them a hearing, which led Dr Shameem to file a case citing a breach of their human rights.

The names of the six military lawyers have not been disclosed but it is known that the director of the army's legal services, Lt Col Mohammed Aziz, and Major Kitione Tuinausara had been prevented from appearing in court earlier.

The Law Society president, Devanesh Sharma, has declined to comment.