9 Apr 2009

Ruling expected in Fiji appeal case on coup legality

1:42 pm on 9 April 2009

A ruling is expected this afternoon in the Appeal Court case brought by Fiji's ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase which challenges the legality of the interim government.

Last October the High Court dismissed Mr Qarase's original case, ruling that the actions of President Ratu Josefa Iloilo after the 2006 coup were lawful and valid.

Those actions included validating Commodore Frank Bainimarama's decision to dismiss the Qarase government and dissolve parliament.

A constitutional lawyer in Fiji, Jon Apted, says its difficult to predict which way the appeal will go

"I have spoken to counsel representing the government side and one of the amicus and both of them have described it as a photo finish. The questions that came from the bench during the arguments have been very searching ones to all sides so it's impossible to predict who might win."

John Apted says the case has far-reaching implications, and could affect who will govern in Fiji, and when the country returns to elections.