28 Jan 2010

Fiji High court to hear Jalal restaurant licence case

5:51 pm on 28 January 2010

A Fiji magistrate's court has accepted a request by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption, or FICAC, to try a prominent international human rights lawyer, Imrana Jalal, in the High Court.

Ms Jalal, who is a member of the International Commission of Jurists, is accused of seven counts relating to not having displayed a licence at a Suva restaurant which she owned with her husband.

The lawyer of the accused claimed that the matter was a minor regulatory offence but the magistrate's court found that the case be sent to the High Court.

The anti-corruption agency laid the charges on New Year's Day and ordered her to surrender her passport.

The agency's case against her husband had already been transferred to the High Court.

Last month, a magistrate dealing with the matter was sacked.

This came only days after she ruled that the restaurant licence issue was a mere council matter.