#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Sources: nominations cause unrest at QE barracks

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sources: nominations cause unrest at QE barracks

The latest coming out of the Queen Elizabeth Barracks is that all is not well in the army's top brass regarding the nominations for judicial appointments.

Reports about Military Chief of Staff, Colonel Mohammed Aziz, having verbally accepted the role of Chief Justice are said to have irked even the staunchest of Frank Bainimarama's officers.

It was thought that this particular issue and the reported tension among the soldiers over the Aziz issue - plus the fact that all those who've reached 55 would have to retire - had been put to rest following the medals that were awarded to Aziz and Land Force Commander Pita Driti.

But the interim government appears to have misclaculated. The unrest continues.

Coupfourpointfive sources say the main reason for the delay in the appointment of a Chief Justice and the new judges - is due to the refusal of the top brass to give their blessing to the names being proposed by the interim Attorney-General and now Acting PM, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

It seems that even the name of Lautoka based lawyer, Ikbal Khan, is causing tension. Khan was suggested by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum.

It's been noted, too, that Chief Registrar Ana Rokomokoti placed a public notice in The Fiji Times on Tuesday (April the 28th)saying the High Court and Appeal Court will stay closed until further notice.

Still on the judiciary, Coupfourpointfive has been told of other ironies. There's been some mirth over this one.

It seems that when the decision was made to sack the judges (the outcome was instantaneous, thanks to the abrogation of the Constitution and the promulgation of the Revocation of Judicial appointments Decree the same day), they weren't even allowed to take their personal effects.

One of the judges hightailed it to the High Court at Lautoka to retrieve what he could but was chased off by the police, who posted guards at the Courthouse.

Two days later, all of the dismissed judges received letters from interim Permanent Secretary for Justice, Pio Tikoduadua. In it, he addresses them as Honourable Justice, a huge faux paus considering they'd been unceremoniously dumped!

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