13 Oct 2008

Fiji based NGO calls for international fact finding mission after controversial court ruling

8:11 pm on 13 October 2008

The Pacific Centre for Public Integrity is calling for an international fact finding mission to Fiji to investigate the judiciary there.

The PCPI is strongly critical of the decision last week by the High Court to throw out a challenge to the legality of the military coup.

Its spokesperson Angie Heffernan, says, in the view of the PCPI, the judges were not impartial or independent because they had been appointed by the military regime.

She says the court decision lacks credibility and any appeal would be a waste unless it was heard by a judge not appointed by the interim Government.

"We also feel that it's important that a political forum is called immediately to ensure that we can go forward and have elections as soon as possible. Also it is important that the international community support a fact finding mission through the UN or the Forum to try and look at the question around the credibility and independence of Fiji's judiciary because it is not an issue that is going to go away and will determine the long term stability and security of Fiji."