16 Jul 2007

Fiji President rejects nominees for tribunal to hear charges against former chief justice

8:40 am on 16 July 2007

Fiji's president, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, has rejected the three names submitted to him for appointment to a tribunal to hear charges against the suspended chief justice, Daniel Fatiaki.

This has been confirmed by the interim attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, who says the president was not satisfied with the names given to his office.

President Iloilo has given the interim attorney general two months to provide a list of at least seven names of people of international repute from whom he will appoint the tribunal.

He has given specific instructions on how the seven are to be selected, including that they must be totally impartial and independent.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says the European Union, which had been given a commitment that the tribunal would be appointed by July the 15th, will be informed of the delay.

Justice Fatiaki, who has remained suspended since January, is alleged to have helped draft decrees and provide legal advice to those involved in the Speight coup in 2000 while being judge of the High Court.