30 Nov 2007

Bainimarama launches attack on Fiji lawyers

2:45 pm on 30 November 2007

Fiji's interim Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainmarama, has launched a scathing attack on lawyers.

Opening an attorneys' general conference near Nadi he told the delegates that the legal profession is closely linked to corrupt activities.

Commodore Bainimarama says no large scale fraud or corruption can succeed without the assistance of obliging, amoral and ambitious lawyers.

He says his government has been scrutinizing the legal profession for some time and has found lawyers who have lost their neutrality and use the profession and the Law Society for their own political agenda.

Commodore Bainimarama says the legal profession needs to be more accountable to its clients - the public.

On the country's judges he says allegations that the judiciary has been compromised often come from the lawyers who have the most to lose from an independent judiciary.

He says these allegations, and similar views from individuals and NGOs, are not backed by any facts.