29 Apr 2003

Fiji's Deputy Speaker to appeal being struck off as a lawyer

4:26 am on 29 April 2003

The deputy Speaker of Fiji's parliament will appeal a lifetime ban on practising law placed on him for his role in the coup.

The Fiji Law Society has struck off Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure's name from the register of barristers and solicitors, saying he had been guilty of professional misconduct when he was sworn in as the attorney general in George Speight's failed administration.

The society says Ratu Rakuita's explanation of his actions showed a serious lack of understanding of the rule of law.

But Ratu Rakuita says he won't take the decision lying down and will appeal.

Ratu Rakuita says he stands by his actons during the coup and will continue to defend himself vigorously.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Labour Party will discuss the Law Society ruling at its caucus meeting.

The Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry says Ratu Rakuita's actions were serious offences which had damaged the reputation of the House of Representatives.