19 Jul 2012

Fiji regime keeping up appearance of independent judiciary - Naidu

4:38 am on 19 July 2012

The Coalition for Democracy in Fiji spokesperson Nik Naidu says the regime is trying to keep up the appearance that there is an independent judiciary, by issuing contempt proceedings against those that criticise it.

The High Court in Fiji has granted leave to the Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum to issue contempt proceedings against the Citizens Constitutional Forum for publishing a report that found Fiji's judiciary and legal system in a dire state.

Nik Naidu, who's based in New Zealand, says it's ironic given the regime dismissed the country's judges in 2009 after the appeal court ruled that the post-coup interim government was illegal.

He says the regime is trying to portray an environment of normalcy.

"Part of that is to imply that there are full freedoms for all citizens of Fiji and that the rule of law still applies and that there is an independent judiciary and so all these unusual moves are most probably directed towards keeping up that sort of appearance."

Nik Naidu.

Last week the general secretary of the Oceania Football Confederation pleaded guilty to contempt of court for comments made last year that there was no judiciary in Fiji.