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Fortuin Acted In Private Capacity

Race Relations Commissioner Gregory Fortuin was acting in a private capacity when he facilitated meetings between Alliance Party members, Associate Minister of Justice Hon Margaret Wilson said today.

“Mr Fortuin advises me he agreed to extend his personal services so the parties were free to resolve their differences in an environment of trust. It was an apolitical gesture, motivated by a genuine desire to help.

“The meetings were held outside of normal office hours and his involvement has now come to an end.”

Margaret Wilson said while she accepted Mr Fortuin was not acting in any official capacity, she did not consider his actions appropriate and had spoken to him about her concerns.

Gregory Fortuin was appointed to the position of Race Relations Conciliator, as it then was, on May 1 last year. Decisions about the future structure of the Human Rights Commission were still under consideration at that time, so a short-term appointment to March 31 2002 was made as a transitional measure. A Race Relations Commissioner can be appointed for a term of no longer than five years, and may, from time to time, be reappointed.

Appointments to the Human Rights Commission including the Race Relations Commissioner are currently under consideration by Cabinet with an announcement expected after Easter.

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