16 Nov 2010

Niue court hears 2008 dismissal case

2:13 pm on 16 November 2010

A former Niue public servant has this week begun his suit of the island's government for unjust dismissal.

Mike Fleming lost his job nearly two years ago after he was blamed by the Niue premier, Toke Talagi, for contributing to the country's financial strife by stockpiling aviation fuel.

Don Wiseman has more:

"The fuel was brought into Niue in 2008 to cover extra flights during the Pacific Islands Forum summit but much of it remained unsold at the end of the meeting. Mike Fleming has said he had nothing to do with ordering the fuel and he is seeking compensation over his dismissal. The suit has meant two courts are operating simultaneously - an unusual occurrence in Niue. The island's new chief justice, Patrick Savage, is hearing the Fleming case, which may take all week. Criminal cases have already been heard after Mr Savage and another judge, Wilson Isaac, arrived from New Zealand on Friday. In one case a man convicted of assaulting his wife was fined and prohibted from buying or drinking alcohol for six months. The judges will on the island for a week and much of the remaining time will be taken up hearing land disputes, involving such issues as determination of title and confirmation of leases."