10 Oct 2007

Fiji's Attorney General doubts any effect from police chief questioning neutrality of judges

3:11 pm on 10 October 2007

Fiji's interim Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says he is confident the judiciary has not been affected by a letter from the police commissioner questioning the neutrality of two judges.

His comments come after a Fiji High Court judge cited the Police Commissioner, Esala Teleni, for attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The allegations relate to a confidential letter Mr Teleni wrote to the permanent secretary for justice asking for two judges not to be used in cases related to the military or its supporters because of bias.

But Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says it is not clear whether Mr Teleni wrote the letter as a former navy commander, as deputy commander of the military or in his new role as police Commissioner.

But he says the important issue is whether it had any effect:

"Did, for example, the judiciary or the the acting chief justice suddenly say: Oh my God somebody has written this letter or the Police commissioner, lets change the judge. That has not happened, nor do we condone that sort of behaviour."

Fiji 's interim Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum