|Khaiyum and Anthony. pic FVillage|
The illegal attorney general Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum has 'revealed' the FTUC national secretary, Felix Anthony, called to (according to him) offer support in 2009 for the decision to abrogate the 1997 Constitution.
On Fiji TV yesterday, Khaiyum told viewers he was in the room with two 'gentleman witnesses' who were prepared to swear in an affidavit to his conversation with Anthony, when the call came in.
He said: "I put the phone of speaker because I was writing. And I remember saying to the two gentleman in the room, 'Lets see what he says.'"
He claims Anthony told him: "Well, AG what had to happen has happened. Don't worry we are here to support you. These things need to happen and we gotta look to the future .... words to that effect."
In a statement issued earlier today, Anthony says the allegations, which came as a result of him saying the regime was reinventing the wheel by introducing a new Constitution (see earlier Coupfourpointfive story), are false and misleading.
He says he was concerned about the abrogation of the Constitution and called to find out what was happening.
"I sought a meeting with him on the issue. I was granted an audience in his office at a later date and I explicitly made it very clear to him that I was there in my capacity as National Secretary of FTUC and questioned the decision to abrogate the Constitution.
"I was assured by the AG in that meeting that the abrogation may be temporary to deal with the High Court decision that ruled the takeover of Government to be illegal and in any case he would ensure that a decree would soon be gazetted that would strengthen the Bill of Rights in the 1997 Constitution and would guarantee Human and Trade Union rights.
"I reported the outcome of this meeting to the National Council of FTUC held in Nadi the following week. I can have the entire National Council of FTUC sign an affidavit to support this. The AG, as we all know, did not keep his word."
Anthony says Khaiyum's attack on him is the first instance of the newly-introduced State Proceedings Amendment Decree 2012 in action.
Fears have already been widely expressed about the Decree offering absolute immunity to regime and the media who choose to report verbatim and unchecked its claims.
In the same Fiji TV report which was also picked up by Fiji Village and FBC, Khaiyum also accused Anthony of speaking out solely because he is no longer on the FNPF board.
Anthony says the reference to his position being in any way linked to the FNPF Board is "mischievous and the smirk on his face while making such comments tells it all."
"There is absolutely no doubt that the AG will continue to make such allegations and personal attacks with the protection of his decrees to try and avoid dealing with the real issues."
AG New Constitution