21 Apr 2008

Appointment of NZ lawyer as Fiji's election supervisor to be reviewed

1:20 pm on 21 April 2008

The recent appointment of New Zealander lawyer Dr Maurice Coughlan as Fiji's new elections supervisor is to be reviewed in an urgent meeting of the Constitutional Officers Commission Monday.

Commission head Rishi Ram says the fact that Dr Maurice had been disbarred from the New Zealand bar for misconduct never surfaced during the entire selection process.

Dr Maurice has defended himself in The Fiji Times since a Fiji Television story revealed he was disbarred in 1985.

Dr Maurice says the incident had not involved any client, that it had been a personal business transaction.

Mr Ram says the Commission may consider the other applicants.

Commentators believe the Commission had failed to do its own background checks, working only on documents Dr Maurice had submitted