6 Mar 2008

Fiji interim government lawyer says High Court has no authority to review President's actions

8:36 pm on 6 March 2008

The lawyer for the Fiji interim government has argued in court that there is no case to answer in the challenge to the legality of the toppling of the Laisenia Qarase administration.

Mr Qarase wants a ruling that his removal from power was unconstitutional.

New Zealand QC Gerard McCoy has raised matters such as the doctrine of necessity and executive privilege, but argues the case hinges on the High Court not having the authority to review decisions of the President.

Our correspondent Matelita Ragogo was in court.

"What he said in court was if the court had no jurisdiction to review a decision of the Head of State, then all of these other things, these other arguments really, we don't even have to go that far."

Matelita Ragogo says a decision on whether Commodore Bainimarama and other the members of the interim government can avoid appearing by claiming executive privilege should be made tomorrow.

The hearing proper is due to begin on Tuesday.