10 Dec 2002

Fiji's Speaker accused of sedition and treason

8:22 am on 10 December 2002

The Fiji Law Society has accused the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure, of sedition and treason.

Fiji TV says the accusation was made at the Law Society's disciplinary proceedings against Ratu Rakuita for being sworn in as Attorney General in Geroge Speight's failed administration immediately after the May 2000 coup.

Speaking for the Law Society, lawyer, Graham Leung, said Ratu Rakuita failed to uphold the rule of law and was guilty of professional misconduct when he purported to become attorney general when the incumbent, Anand Singh, was still office holder.

Ratu Rakuita said his action was in the public interest and if he had done something wrong, the Law Soceity should have told him then not now.

Mr Leung said as a seasoned lawyer, he should have known the difference between right and wrong and good and evil.

But Ratu Rakuita has denied that in taking the oath in Speight's administration he was undermining the rule of law and was guilty of professional misconduct.

Ratu Rakuita could be disbarred from practising law for life if he is found guilty