April 12, 2009
By Michael Field
It was the Good Friday Coup, or, as I prefer to think of it, Coup 4.5.
Voreqe Bainimarama, whose CV is devoid of education or combat, has merely tried to finish off what he thought he staged in December 2006.
But because he was so badly advised, he forgot to overthrow the constitution.
So, on Good Friday 2009, he got Josefa Iloilo to “abrogate” the Fiji Constitution. A couple of New Zealanders even helped do this act.
Which is kind of ironic, because one of them must of known what he was doing.
Especially in the declaration that Iloilo muttered, the bit about how Fiji’s existing laws remained in place, even if the constitution had been trashed.
So that means, does it not, Christchurch lawyers, the Fiji penal code is still in place?
Yes, of course it is. Iloilo said it was in place.
Section 50 of the Penal Code defines of the crime of treason.
So lets race back to 2001 when the charges were being drawn up against Ilikimi Naitini aka George Speight and Timoci Silatolu and assorted others…
The charge against them listed assorted “overt acts” by which they committed the said charge, of treason.
This one is of particular relevance to the events of Good Friday. And remember, before reading it, that this charge is proven. It exists in the common law of Fiji.
It is real. George Speight was convicted of this. So were assorted others. It is not a fanciful piece of academia; this is an actual part of the charge tried and convicted in Fiji.
“Fourth Overt Act
On the 19th day of May 2000 ILIKIMI NAITINI a.k.a. GEORGE SPEIGHT with the concurrence and encouragement of the other accused and persons unknown did purport to abrogate by Decree the 1997 Constitution of the Republic of the Fiji Islands as established by law.”
It is worth noting too, as Iloilo has sworn in Bainimarama as prime minister and assorted others to cabinet what the next part of the charge said:
“Fifth Overt Act
On divers dates on or after the 19th day of May 2000 the accused, and other persons unknown did purport to promulgate various enabling Decrees under which ILIKIMI NAITINI a.k.a. GEORGE SPEIGHT with the concurrence and encouragement of the other accused and other persons unknown purported to appoint a President, a Prime Minister and other Ministers and others under the aforementioned 'Taukei Civilian Government.”
Remember, people of Fiji, just because Iloilo says the Constitution is no more, it does not make it so.
Fiji’s Constitution continues.