5 Jun 2007

Appointment of Commissioner of Fiji's anti-corruption commission to be challenged

7:37 am on 5 June 2007

The president of LAWASIA, Mah Weng Kwai, will face a challenge to his acceptance of the post of commissioner of the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption at the organisation's biennial convention in Hong Kong today.

The Fiji Times reports that members may now ask him to decline the Fiji appointment because of LAWASIA's recent stand and a fact-finding mission on developments in Fiji since the December military takeover.

The newspaper says it has obtained a letter in which the president of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Graeme Mew, wrote to the secretary of LAWASIA last Thursday seeking the organisation's stand on Mr Kwai's acceptance of the post.

Mr Mew wrote that the Commonwealth Lawyers Association is extremely concerned that the appointment will lend credibility to the Fiji interim administration.

He says LAWASIA has an enviable reputation for encouraging respect for the rule of law and human rights in addition to providing support to the legal profession in situations where its members are under threat.

Fiji's interim attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says Mr Kwai accepted the post in his personal capacity.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says LAWASIA had not condemned Fiji in their fact finding report and were supportive of the interim administration.