#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Fatiaki new chief justice of Vanuatu

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fatiaki new chief justice of Vanuatu

Justice Daniel Fatiaki, who was suspended by coup leader Frank Bainimarama almost a month after the 2006 coup, has been confirmed as the new Chief Justice of Vanuatu.

He is expected to soon take up his new appointment with sources saying there are indications that a few judges who refused re-appointment under the new legal order will be offered judges' positions once Fatiaki takes up his position as the head of Vanuatu's judiciary.

Fatiaki was suspended in early January 2007 by Bainimarama while he still assumed executive authority of the President, whose constitutional powers he usurped to execute the coup.

A month after Fatiaki's suspension, Anthony Gates was made the new Chief Justice by the Judicial Service Commission that saw the participation of Nazhat Shameem as a JSC member instead of the CJ.

A Tribunal was established by the dictatorship regime to hear trivial complaints against Fatiaki, including allegations of evading tax. His tax files were forcibly removed from Fiji Islands Revenue & Customs Authority (FIRCA).

The files were taken by Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) with the help of police after the then FIRCA chief executive, Tevita Banuve, refused to hand them over to FICAC.

As a result Banuve was also terminated as FIRCA CEO and relaced with Jitoko Tikolevu - a officer least qualified for the job. All this happened when Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry was still the interim Finance Minister.

The Tribunal had not fully heard the case against Fatiaki as it's establishment was surrounded with controversy with Fatiaki challenging its existence through the judiciary. There was also minimal information about Fatiaki's collusion with George Speight in terms of advising him to formulate decrees after the third coup of May 2000.

But sources say Fatiaki helped Banimarama and the military formulate decrees as the army looked at ways to end the hostage crisis at parliament house following the coup.

Late last year - more than 20 months after his suspension, Fatiaki was paid $275,000 as compensation in a move spearheaded by none other than his most vociferous critic - interim Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.

In return, Fatiaki also agreed that he would not pursue any legal action relating to the suspension against the dictatorship regime.

He vacated his official residence as Chief Justice.

The home is now being used by Bainimarama who announced this year the official army commander's quarters located next to the residence of New Zealand High Commissioner needed urgent renovations.


Anonymous said...

Looks like Vanuatu is really benefiting from the Bainimarama coup.

First they get Bovoro and a number of Fiji professionals who were senseless casualties of the coup. Then they get a big chunk of our lost tourist traffic. And now they get a CJ who has far better morals and judgement than the current Fiji incumbent.

No wonder they "support" Frank's coup so much in the ACP and MSG

Anonymous said...

Does Vanuatu authorities know that the daniel fatiaki did not pay his taxes as Chief Justice and only quickly filed his tax claims once tax amnesty was announced . how could vanuatu judiciary be so naive in not checking these facts on him and may more which were to come up before the tribunal ..which he settled to aviod embrassment .

Ami kohli said...

Was not Daniel also corrupt in some cases with the help of Labasa lawyer Amrit Sen ?

But still he was less corrupt than the other former CJ Timoci Tuivanga the "boldhead" who took bribe openly saying it is Fijian custom to accept these as traditionl custom.

Ajmal G Khan said...

Tell me which Fiji High Court judge and which Chief Justice is not CORRUPT. All the same.All lawyers in Fiji have some connection with atleast some judges so in the process they are corrupt too.Why pick on Sen of Labasa. Of course he is one of the worst offenders. Many just as bad as him. Get real. Lets not forget that Aiyaz khaiyum and Bainimarama are the BIGGEST CORRUPT SCOUNDRELS in Fiji. No less so than Mugabe of Zimbabwe.