11 Jan 2016

Fiji opposition tries to revive parliamentary torture inquiry

6:25 am on 11 January 2016

Fiji's opposition whip says he will try and get a parliamentary committee to again look into allegations of torture by security forces.

Fiji Finance Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

The committee chairman says the Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, intervened to call off the investigation. Photo: Supplied

In December, the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs tried to investigate allegations raised by lawyer Aman Ravindra-Singh, who represents dozens of people accused of sedition.

But as the committee got underway, the chairman received a phone call from the attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, who advised that the meeting should be called off.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the committee's members were not qualified to investigate, and that he had acted within his rights to intervene.

But the opposition whip and committee member, Ratu Isoa Tikoca, says he has it on legal advice that Mr Sayed-Khaiyum had no right to intervene and the committee can investigate.

He says he will try to have the committee investigate when it sits later this month.

"We will do what is required by the constitution and the standing orders and by the constitution. We will pursue that until we reach a resolution on that, and we are not going to be stopped because this is supposed to be a parliament representing the people and the people require the truth."

Ratu Isoa Tikoca.