21 Apr 2008

Fiji to review appointment of election supervisor from NZ

1:31 pm on 21 April 2008

Fiji's Constitutional Office Commission will meet today or tomorrow to review the appointment of New Zealand lawyer Dr Maurice Coughlan as elections supervisor.

Dr Coughlan was disbarred by the New Zealand law society in 1992, and reinstated ten years later.

He says it involved a conveyancing transaction that had dragged on for several years.

The Commission head, Rishi Ram, says the fact that Dr Coughlan had been disbarred never surfaced during the selection process.

"He has been a practicing lawyer, and we thought, well, maybe we omitted to ask that question to him. But because he was a practising lawyer, we took it for granted that he had a good record and his credentials that he had presented to us revealed that."

Mr Ram says the Commission wants to ask Mr Couglan the details of what happened before it decides anything further.