World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Immunity Decree Is Illegal, Claims Lawyer

USP Pacific Journalism Online: http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/
USP Pasifik Nius: http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/nius/index.html
Have your say: http://www.TheGuestBook.com/vgbook/109497.gbook

SUVA (Pasifik Nius): Fiji's caretaker regime has no power to guarantee immunity to loyalist soldiers involved in the death of Counter-Revolutionary Warfare Unit members in last year's mutiny, claims lawyer Tevita Fa, the Fiji Times reports.

The Suva lawyer has questioned the recently gazetted immunity decree, which gives the disciplined forces immunity from prosecution.

"This kind of legislation can only be done by Parliament and this current administration has no power to pass this kind of law," he said.

Fa is representing the widows of slain CRW soldiers - allegedly taken from their homes and beaten to death by loyalist troops.

"The Constitution is the supreme law of the land and this kind of law is against the Constitution," he said.

"We're not filing a separate action to challenge the validity of the decree because it will all come out in court when the cases are heard."

Fa, who is representing 15 CRW soldiers detained for security reasons, said he would pursue action against the military for compensation to his clients despite the signing of the new decree by the President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo.

The Sun reports that the Citizens Constitutional Forum has challenged the use of section 85 of the Constitution as grounds for proclaiming the decree.

The decree allows immunity for members of the military and police, and covers the period between June 13, 2000, until the formation of the new elected government.

This was "particularly worrying" at a time when investigations and possible prosecutions were being undertaken over "certain acts that the military had committed during the emergency period from July 23 last year", said forum executive director Rev Akuila Yabaki.

"Granting a further decree for immunity will do little to maintain the already damaged credibility of the Fiji Military Forces."

* The general election is from August 25-September 1.

+++niuswire


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>

ALSO:

Myanmar: UN Chief Rohingya Refugee Crisis Enters Second Year

Over 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar to ramshackle refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar area, Bangladesh after being forced from their homes by a military operation which UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein compared, at the time, to ethnic cleansing. More>>

ALSO:

Scott Morrison In Hot Seat: NZ Congratulates Current Australian PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today congratulated Scott Morrison on winning the leadership of the Australian Liberal Party and has acknowledged outgoing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. More>>

ALSO:

Swing States: Gordon Campbell On Why The US Needs MMP

After the bizarre events this week in Helsinki, the world will be hoping and praying that the US midterm elections in November can put a restraining brake on the presidency of Donald Trump. This may happen, but there’s a highly undemocratic reason why such hopes may be frustrated. More>>

ALSO: