20 Feb 2015

Fiji MP to appeal legal suspension and fine

7:22 pm on 20 February 2015

A Lawyer and Opposition MP in Fiji says that he will appeal suspension and fine meted out for professional misconduct.

Niko Naiwaikula was suspended from legal practice for two months and fined 1,000 US dollars.

Mr Naiwaikula says his sentence was 'harsh' and disproportionate to the 'offence' committed.

The MP failed to respond to complaints lodged against him, and subsequent reminders from the Chief Registrar.

Mr Nawaikula says he appreciated and supported the need to regulate the conduct of practitioners in general and he acknowledged and accepted responsibility.

However he says his conviction related solely to the time and not the complaint lodged by two clients.

He says the complaints itself were weak and minor.

Mr Nawaikula says one client complained he took too long to handle his case but failed to mention he was working for him for free.

He says the other complaint relates to an allegation he falsely claimed to be representing an organisation even though he produced written confirmation.