12 Jul 2007

Fiji Law Society vice president faces contempt charge

3:41 pm on 12 July 2007

Fiji's interim attorney general says he has been forced to file contempt charges against the vice president of the Fiji Law Society, Tupou Draunidalo, in the public interest following a large number of complaints.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is seeking a court order to have Ms Draunidalo jailed with the trial due to take place in mid August.

Ms Draunidalo told ABC TV in May that the confidence of lawyers in the Fiji judicial system had been shattered.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says the integrity of Fiji's judiciary is of paramount importance and attacks on it cannot be taken lightly.

He says he is acting in the public interest to ensure that the judicial arm of the state is not scandalized and that the respect, integrity and authority of the judiciary and the courts of Fiji are not undermined by such statements.

Earlier, several prominent Fiji lawyers had complained about Ms Draunidalo's remarks to the Fiji Law Society and demanded an emergency meeting to discuss the implications of her remarks.