29 May 2007

Fiji Law Society renews plea for lawyers to be free to fully represent clients

7:13 pm on 29 May 2007

Fears have been raised in Fiji that lawyers appearing in cases against the interim administration are coming under pressure.

The President of the Fiji Law Society has again has written to the interim administration saying that lawyers must be free to represent their clients without fear, intimidation and suppression of any sort.

The letter was sent after two lawyers, Kitione Vuataki and Ratu Savenaca Komaisavai, were held at different times over the weekend after the military said they had made inciteful comments

But the Society's Vice President, Tupou Draunidalo, says her organisation believes that, even in under emergecny rules, the police should be asking the questions, not the military:

"As for the emergency regulations, a precedent has been set in the Angie Heffernan matter. A judge has heard both parties on that issue and has issued an interim injunction against the military and the defendent saying they can't interfere with her constitutional freedoms So they should take their cue from that."

One of the lawyer's, Kitione Vuataki, says he has felt some pressure but will continue to represent his clients; a group of former members of the Great Council of Chiefs, who are challenging their dismissal and the suspension of the GCC.