25 Sep 2007

Reconstituted Fiji Supreme Court to sit in February 2008

8:52 am on 25 September 2007

Fiji's Judicial Services Commission is reconstituting the country's Supreme Court which will have its next sitting early in 2008.

Radio Legend quotes the chairman of the Judicial Services Commission and acting chief justice, Anthony Gates, as saying the commission has identified some eminent jurists to sit in the Supreme Court.

Justice Gates says while potential judges have been identified, they hope that judges from a wider region will be considered in the next 12 months to provide the court with a variety of legal viewpoints from various jurisdictions.

He says while he cannot say when the judges will be appointed by the president, he can confirm that there will be three sittings of the Supreme Court in 2008 beginning with the first one in February.

Court officials confirm that there are a number of matters pending before the Supreme Court including the appeal by the director of public prosecutions and Justice Gates against the Appeal Court order in June for the retrial of Ratu Inoke Takiveikata.

Takiveikata was serving a life sentence after his conviction for inciting the November 2000 army mutiny but the Appeal Court set him free and ordered that he be retried.

Justice Gates has also confirmed that the names of the three judges who are to preside over the case brought by the deposed prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, against the overthrow of his government will be announced at the start of the trial next week.