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Win-win-win for democracy in Fiji

PEOPLE'S COALITION GOVERNMENT, FIJI

Win-win-win for democracy in Fiji Issue No: 388 17 January 2001

The illegal regime has been dealt three major blows today by separate courts in Fiji.

In the first case, the Fiji Court of Appeal threw out the regime's appeal against the decline of a stay order by the High Court on the declaratory orders given by the High Court in the Chandrika Prasad case. Dismissing the appeal, Justice Sir Maurice Casey stated: "Short of setting aside the judgment (which can only be done on appeal) there is no way that the declarations themselves can be nullified, either temporarily or permanently" (see full text of judgment at: http://www.pcgov.org.fj/docs_o/appeal_stay_casey.htm).

In the second case, the High Court granted an interim injunction to stop further sittings of the regime's Constitution Review Commission, and to stop them from drawing further allowances from public funds.

A large number of lawyers have hailed the decisions as a win for law and order in the country.

One exception, however, has been Suva lawyer, Jon Apted who told this evening's Fiji TV news that nothing will change for the citizens of Fiji, and that the regime has a better chance of winning the appeal now. He spoke as if he himself was the regime's lawyer.

[Apted spent many hours on the Parliament Complex, laughing, joking, and smoking with journalists, immediately after the terrorists had taken the government hostage. Hostages believe that Apted's presence and behaviour indicated that he was there to provide support to the terrorists. The terrorists were also supported by the SVT's Finance Minister and businessmen, Jim Ah Koy. Apted is reported to be close to Ah Koy.]

The substantive appeal from the regime will now be heard on February 19-23 by the Fiji Court of Appeal.

In another case, Lautoka High Court threw out an application from a pro-regime judge, Justice Michael, to become a party to the substantive appeal. Scott was one of the three judges who had helped draft the Judicature Decree which had, amongst other things, abolished the Supreme Court. Scott and the three were severely criticised by the Fiji Law Society, and the NGO's. One NGO even called for the sacking of Scott.

END 21 January 2001


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