24 May 2007

Former Fiji public prosecutor says legality of emergency regulations questionable

6:30 pm on 24 May 2007

A former assistant public prosecutor in Fiji says the legality of the public emergency regulations is questionable.

Raymond Gibson, who worked for the DPP's office until last month, and is now a crown prosecutor in Victoria, was speaking after the acting police commissioner outlined what the police and the military were allowed to do.

The commissioner said under the regulations, the armed forces were allowed to arrest people and use limited force, if necessary.

But, Mr Gibson says there is a question over the legality of the regulations.

"What the interim government, the military government have been doing here is they've been publishing regulations which they say have got the force of the law in a gazette. Now, because they're published in a government gazette, doesn't give them any legality whatsoever."

Mr Gibson says the legality of the coup and the takeover is currently before the courts.