23 May 2009

Fiji's interim attorney general says higher courts to hear cases next week

9:59 am on 23 May 2009

The interim attorney general in Fiji says he expects the higher courts to resume hearing cases from next week following the reappointment of four high court judges.

Justice Anthony Gates has been sworn in as Chief Justice by the President Josefa Iloilo, while Justices Davendra Pathik, Daniel Gounder and Sosefa Inoke have also been reappointed as High Court judges.

Last month a number of magistrates were appointed, but the higher courts have not been able to sit since the judiciary was sacked on April the 10th.

The Interim Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khayum says the latest appointments will enable some courts to reopen.

"Definitely the courts, as with the magistrates we at the moment have 10 magistrates, we used to have 21, we now have 10 and they're all located in the main centres in Fiji and so those courts are functioning. Obviously with the full compliment you can have a higher turn around of case hearings etc. With the high court bench now being appointed four judges, they'll obviously start doing their work."

Aiyaz Sayed-Khayum says he expects more High Court judges to be appointed soon.