#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2012-05-20

Friday, May 25, 2012

Judicial moles: more Sri Lankan judges leaving

Sri Lankan jduges welcomed 2011. Fiji Times file pic
No announcement yet by the regime but insiders have spilled the beans - Fiji's judiciary has its youngest appointee ever - the 24 year old son of Nanise Rakatele - Charles Rakatele.

Insiders say Rakatele was appointed on Monday and will commence sitting as a magistrate on June 1st in Nausori to replace Mosese Naivalu whose contract is not being renewed as from 1st July 2012. 

More losses, though, with eight Sri Lankan judges and magistrates said to be leaving and there is huge interest in the future of Anthony Gates whose contract expires in August 2012.

Meanwhile in Lautoka at the moment, just one civil judge is handling three High Court civil files.

Insiders also say Sofia Hamza - an Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum lackey - is a new magistrate who is facing serious family problems as her police prosecutor husband, Yasin, has had a child out of marriage and the mother of the baby has secured court orders for child and spouse maintenance. 

Judicial moles say the besieged police commissioner, Ioane Naivalurua, won’t sack Yasin Hamza for the extra marital affair as he has been warned by Khaiyum not to touch him. 

And more problems for Justice Daniel Goundar with the national intelligence bureau investigating how he sold his Nailuva road property for $500,000 when it was on the market for $320,000. 

Word has it that it has been bought by a benefactor whose cousin appeared recently before Goundar.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bainimarama’s behind-the-scenes backers were in the judiciary

Doctrine Necessity: Pervez Musharaf

Treasonists Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum and Mohammed Aziz drafted dictator’s Doctrine of Necessity takeover coup speech, with help from Manasa Vaniqi


By Victor Lal

At 6pm on 5 December 2006, Frank Bainimarama, the future dictator of Fiji, declared his takeover of the SDL-FLP multi-party government of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase. The bleary-eyed Bainimarama, who had been drinking heavily in the RFMF’s Officers Mess before appearing on TV, claimed that he was taking over the Qarase government under the Doctrine of Necessity, a legal doctrine deployed elsewhere, most notably in General Pervez Musharaf’s Pakistan.

Out of stride: Hughes and Bainimarama
However, in the same takeover speech Bainimarama claimed that the RFMF not only believed in the 1997 Constitution of Fiji but it also believed and adhered to constitutionalism. He claimed that he had “stepped into the President’s shoes” (in fact he had illegally stolen the President’s constitutional sulu and sandals) to dismiss the duly and constitutionally elected Prime Minister Qarase.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Whistleblowing police officers 'to take fall' for the CID break-in

CID headquarters in Toorak: Police have confirmed break-in was an inside job. pic Matavuvale

 Naivalurua facing more than a split in the ranks
Insiders say the officers who linked the police commissioner, Ioane Naivalurua, and his top two deputies to a drug ring have been set up to take the blame for the break-in at the Criminal Investigations Department in Toorak two weeks ago.

The breach in security came just days after Coupfourpointfive published a letter from an anonymous police officer to the illegal leader, Frank Bainimarama, saying there had been a drug consignment of cocaine and narcotics in January under the name of Naivalurua which was cleared by border police without checks. (Letter implicates police commissioner in international drug racket, C4.5 May 6)

In that letter titled Re: Disclosure of Extracts for Abuse of Power and Office by Commissioner of Police, the unnamed officer said the  shipment was delivered to the drug lord, Setoki Cei Turaga, in Toorak.

He said subsequent surveillance by the drug intelligence unit had shown mobile phone conversations between Turaga, Naivalurua and his deputies, Henry Brown and Isikeli Ligairi.

The officer went on to say the unit had been victimised as a result by Naivalurua and officers had been either demoted or dismissed.

Coupfourpointfive revealed just days after that story the CID HQ in Toorak had been broken into and that it was an inside job.

Sources told us cocaine was taken and that theft from the well-secured headquarters is estimated at FJD7 million dollars over a one-year period and included cocaine, heroin, pill drugs, marijuana and hard cash recovered from Chinese raids, and jewellery etc.

Fiji police have confirmed the break-in came from inside saying an 'exhibit' (believed to be cocaine) kept in the drug unit was stolen. Both Raisate Tudrau and Ana Naisoro have said an investigation is underway with Naisoro saying 'the latest finding' had led to Naivalurua demanding the immediate recovery of the missing item and 'arrest of those involved'.

But there have been no leads or arrests and the accusations against Naivalurua go unanswered, as does Bainimarama's silence.

Coupfourpointfive has now been told again by reliable sources the Toorak break-in will be pinned on the two officers who blew the whistle on the drug ring and kickbacks.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ghai's dilemma: to be more than a tape recorder

On the record: Yash Ghai
By Professor Wadan Narsey

Professor Yash Ghai has reassured the Fiji public that his Constitution Commission will listen to all the submissions being made, and presumably incorporate "what the people want" into their final Report.

But if that is all that they end up doing, then Fiji may as well buy a cheap tape-recorder and hire a good editor.

Luckily, for Professor Yash Ghai and Professor Christina Murray to safeguard their international reputation as constitution lawyers, they need to also ensure that their set of recommendations maintains the letter and spirit of Fiji law.

To achieve that, the Ghai Commission faces several dilemma.

First, Ghai and Murray at least will know that the most authoritative Fiji courts have concluded that the 1997 Constitution cannot be abrogated by the President, the Military, or merely replaced by anyone, including some "Constituent Assembly" established by "usurpers" (using the words of  Anthony Gates - see below).

The second dilemma is that while Fiji's political leaders insist that the 1997 Constitution must be retained (with amendments if necessary), Bainimarama keeps undermining the independence of the Ghai Commission by insisting that the 1997 Constitution will not be revisited.

Luckily, the Ghai Commission only needs to point to the Regime's insistence that  all future governments must be guided by the People's Charter (which was allegedly approved by more than 80 percent of all people in Fiji over the age of 18 i.e. virtually a referendum), and the first clause of the Charter states clearly "We the People of Fiji Affirm that our Constitution represents the supreme law of our country, that it provides the framework for the conduct of government and the people”.

On this issue, submissions to the Ghai Commission can also quote the excellent judgement by Anthony Gates- which I repeat below.

The third dilemma is how the military decrees will be incorporated into a post-election legal framework, when the authoritative legal interpretation is that infringement of basic human rights (as in some of the military decrees) cannot be legalized ex-post.

A possible fourth dilemma (which may not eventuate) is how the Ghai Commission will resolve internal disagreement: will there have to be consensus, in which case they may sink to the lowest common denominator? or will there be voting by majority, in which case the three Regime non-legal appointees could hypothetically out-vote the two legal experts; or will Minority Reports also be allowed, and what standing they will have?

Fiji can be reassured that Professor Ghai has a record of walking away, when those in power interfere with his professionalism.

Nevertheless, submissions can assist the Ghai Commission by providing explicit guidance on these dilemma for two reasons: first, should internal disagreement amongst the Commission members reduce them to the role of  being "tape recorders of what the people want",  then general consensus amongst the submissions will make the Commission's task easier;  second, it is their own country's future in the balance.

Christina Murray
It is to be hoped that Fiji's own domestic legal experts are committed enough to collectively advise (through the Fiji Law Society) on our own constitutional solutions, without waiting for the legal manna to drop from heaven in the form of a "home grown" constitution (Regime's words), when the majority (3) of the Commission members are foreign residents. But then, so also was the Reeves Commission majority foreign residents.

I first set out my layman's reading of the current legal situation and then suggest a set of recommendations at the end of this article for consideration by our people in their submissions.

The Last Legal Judgement on the coups
A central document for Ghai and Murray will be the last legal and authoritative judgment - that of the 2009 Court of Appeal (Justices Powell, Lloyd and Douglas), a fascinating document to read.


The judges carefully traversed all the previous arguments and judgements on the legality of all governments established since the military coups of 1987, 2000, and 2006.

They made the clear judgement on the 2006 coup: that all of the following were unlawful according to the 1997 Constitution:  the assumption of executive authority and the declaration of a State of Emergency by Bainimarama, the dismissal of Qarase as Prime Minister, the appointment of Senilagakali as caretaker Prime Minister, Bainimarama's order for the dissolution of Parliament, Iloilo's appointment of Bainimarama as Prime Minister, and all subsequent decrees by President Iloilo attempting to legalize Bainimarama's actions.

The Appeal Court pragmatically recommended that the President Ratu Iloilo appoint a  caretaker Prime Minister to advise a dissolution of the Parliament and call for fresh elections.

Signed off the abrogation: Josefa Iloilo
Instead, the next day, Ratu Iloilo allegedly 'abrogated' the 1997 Constitution and re-appointed Bainimarama as Prime Minister, whose regime has continued till today.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

RFMF books remain undisclosed but earlier audits still around to haunt them

Mohammed Aziz pic Grubsheet
An oldie but a goodie: the draft audit memorandum for 2009 Fiji Military Forces.

Excerpts from the 2009 audit shows abuse of taxpayers funds with personnel being overpaid, personnel taking more leave than they were entitled to, rations allowances being overpaid, irregularities in the rations inventory at camp, unjustified overspending in the Black Rock project and suppliers being paid but failing to deliver. 

Aseri Rokoura
Before detailing the misspending, the report cautions the audit may not have discovered all of the irregularities. 
It urged all monies be recovered and those in charge be held accountable for being so lax. 

With the RFMF not releasing reports since 2007, there is no way of no way of knowing if personnel (including officers), repaid what they weren't entitled to.  
But judging from the tone of the audit and the comment that concerns had previously been raised but no action had been taken, it would not be surprising if money is still outstanding and axpayer funds are still being misused.

The companies mentioned may have also made good since the audit but we are advised that is unlikely.

Francis Kean
134 officers were discharged but the audit revealed that 51of the discharged personnel  continued to be paid after they left. The audit says Francis Kean was overpaid $452 (11 days) but one officer was overpaid almost $6,000.

Unentitled leave:
One officer took 129 days amounting to more than $14,000. According to the figures, the RFMF was over  budget $84,000 because of officers taking leave they weren't entitled to. The report urged RFMF to keep better records to avoid discrepancies. (Bloggers may recall Frank Bainimarama's claim he was owed an outstanding amount of leave going back to 1978 and paying himself more than $180,000).

Overpaid ration allowances:
A number of officers were paid lodging allowances but they were still occupying official quarters, some by almost $3,000. Two of the officers are Bainimarama's closest aides: Aseri Rokoura ( $5,931.44) and Mohammed Aziz $7,729.

The audit report says concern was raised in previous years about officers being overpaid the allowance 'however corrective actions are yet to be taken.'

Paid but no delivery according to audit.
Suppliers paid but no sign of delivery:
Contracts were awarded without proper tender. Viti Air Condition was singled out and was paid more than $200,000 but there was no sign of proper procedure being followed.

Goods were also paid for but according to the report there was no sign they had been delivered. RC Manubhai and Wingate Marketing received more than $60,000 between them and Vinod Patel $150,000.

Irregularities in the ration inventory at Lautoka and Nadi camps:
RFMF spent $3,611,529 in 2009 but the audit could not substantiate the purchases because of poor records.

Unjustified overspending over Black Rock:
A budget of $1,300,000 was allocated from 2005 to 2009 to relocate RFMF from Nadi to Votualevu. In a huge budget blowout, $2,047,769.21 was instead spent.

The report  says 'anomalies highlighted above indicate the poor control of funds allocated for the project and the failure by the Force to monitor the progress of the project. It also indicates the lack of proper planning'. 

"The Force should investigate the reason for the over expenditure and disciplinary action taken against officer(s) concerned."

It also says the practice of paying for goods and services before delivery should cease immediately and that appropriate disciplinary actions should be taken against officers involved in the certification of the LPOs and the payments of goods that have not been supplied.

Draft audit memorandum for 2009 - Fiji Military Forces

Fiji realises hari-kari not the way to go

The regime has done a quick u-turn on a statement it released on Japan snubbing Frank Bainimarama. 

In the statement sent out from Suva by the Ministry of Information, the location for the PALM forum was wrong and the tone rude and surly.

Both have been corrected in the second statement.

This after suggestions Japan could have bought itself a fight with Fiji for offending it over not inviting the illegal leader!

The regime obviously realises it needs all the friends it can get - or that it doesn't have the influence it thinks it does.



Please disregard this press release. We will send you an alternative version shortly.

Thank You,

News Editor

RECALL! - MEDIA RELEASE: Sixth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting

Fiji will not be attending the Sixth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM6) this month in Okinawa.

Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama has declined Fiji’s invitation because it was not made to the highest level of government.

The invitation had been extended to Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.

In a letter to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister Bainimarama wrote, “I wish to advise you that since PALM 6 is a meeting of Leaders, we shall defer our participation until such time you are ready to invite Fiji’s participation at the appropriate level.”

“We look forward to remain fully engaged with and receive the full support of all members of the international community on our way forward to democratic elections based on what is best for Fiji and its people,” Prime Minister Bainimarama wrote.

“Towards this end, we have engaged with the international community at an unprecedented level, and in turn my Government has received the full support by most members of the United Nations…”