29 May 2007

Fiji's law society sends letter to interim administration

9:40 am on 29 May 2007

The Fiji Law Society has written to the interim administration expressing its concern about the recent detention of lawyers.

A lawyer in the case brought by four sacked members of the Great Council of Chiefs, Kitione Vuataki, was detained from Friday afternoon to Saturday night during which he gave an undertaking to be more careful with his statements.

His fellow lawyer in the same case, Savenaca Komaisavai, was taken in on Saturday afternoon and remained in custody yesterday.

Law Society president Davnesh Sharma says lawyers must be free to represent their clients without fear, intimidation and suppression of any sort, especially when the cases are against the interim administration.

Mr Sharma told Fiji TV last night that even a state of emergency does not justify detention.

He said the Fiji Law Society is bound to protect the freedom of the bar.

He said it would be a sad day for Fiji is lawyers refuse to represent their clients because of fear.

Mr Sharma also urged the media to be more cautious in reporting, saying the two lawyers were detained because of news reports.