All eyes again on the efforts of the regime to hide what is so blatantly clear: there is no rule of law in Fiji.
In finding the Citizens Constitutional Forum and its director, Reverend Akuila Yabaki, guilty of contempt of court, the unelected government is showing the world yet again it is systematically squashing the rights of Fiji citizens.
The CCF and Yabaki have been found guilty of 'scandalising the court' for publishing quotes from the notable 2012 UK Law Society Charity report in its Tutaka newsletter last year.
The report, of course, cited the findings of the chair of the charity, Nigel Dodds, that despite the protests of the regime, the judiciary is under the thumb of the illegal attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.
Justice William Calachini has fined CCF $20,000 and sentenced Yabaki to three months jail, suspended for 12 months. Both also have to apologise to the 'judiciary' aka Khaiyum and to run that apology in the Tutaka newsletter. They also have to pay $4,500 between them to the 'office of the attorney general.'
Reaction from around the region to the finding shows the world is wise and weary to the ways of the military dictatorship.
This from the New Zealand Law Society: “The Society sees the moves by the Fijian government to
pursue this matter as evidence of a continued erosion of the rule of law in one
of our closest neighbours."
Nigel Dodds, who Fiji last year accused of spreading 'false, outrageous and inflammatory allegations,' also sees through the Calachini conviction.
Like others, Dodd notest the sentence is being used to silence Yabaki, just as political parties, the chiefs and the Church have been muzzled, in the lead up to next year's election.
The election is Frank Bainimarama's ticket to legitimate rule. Until then he and his illegal government continue to oppress Fiji citizens as they pick their way through a roadmap pre-determined to entrench their power.
Background: The 9 August 2013 decision of the Fijian High
Court is available at http://www.paclii.org/fj/cases/FJHC/2013/388.html.
The Reform of Information Technology and Computing Services Decree (Decree No
17 of 2013) is available at http://www.fiji.gov.fj/getattachment/07da429d-6ea8-4d41-a452-49fdb184d145/Decree-No-17---Reform-of-Information-Technology-an.aspx.