22 Nov 2007

Fiji's suspended Chief Justice to challenge tribunal set up to probe him

8:08 am on 22 November 2007

Fiji's suspended chief justice, Daniel Fatiaki, will challenge the appointment of the three-member tribunal set up to investigate him.

The make-up-of the high powered tribunal and the charges against him were announced on Tuesday.

His lawyer, Jon Apted, has confirmed that they will be seeking leave from the High Court to join the tribunal members to the legal action currently before the courts.

They are hoping to obtain a declaration that the tribunal as well as any work it does would be unconstitutional.

Mr Apted is seeking an injunction against the tribunal.

President Iloilo has appointed Justice Robert James Ellicott, a former solicitor general and attorney general of Australia and a former judge of the Federal Court of Australia, to chair the tribunal to hear the charges.

Justice Raymond Sears, a judge of the High Court of Hong Kong, and Tan Sri Datuk Dr Lal Chand Vohra, a former judge of the High Court of Malaysia, are the other members of the tribunal.

The tribunal will begin its preliminary hearing in open court in Suva on Monday with New Zealand lawyer Gerard McCoy as its counsel.