Saturday, January 27, 2007

Kiwi Role in Illegal Fiji Regime

Concern for Kiwi’s role with interim Govt
www.fijilive.com -Saturday January 27, 2007

Interim Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (l)Fiji’s interim Attorney General and Justice Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says who the government hires is information privy to the government. Sayed-Khaiyum made the comment when asked about New Zealand media reports on concerns that a prominent Christchurch lawyer "is working with the inner circles of Fiji’s military coup administration."
Stuff.co reports NZ diplomatic sources expressed concern this week at the role of Gerard McCoy, QC, in working with interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama’s lawyers. "He (McCoy) was understood to be providing advice to the administration in its self proclaimed "clean up" of Fiji’s judiciary and constitutional legal officers," the report said.
"A spokesman for NZ Foreign Minister Winston Peters said McCoy was a private individual on a private contract and the Government would not influence it. But it was concerned. "The involvement of New Zealanders within the Bainimarama-appointed government is very disappointing, especially in such a sensitive area as the attorney-general’s office," the report said.
The Fiji Law Reform Commission hired McCoy and Hong Kong-based Ray Pearce to review Fiji’s penal code for a fee of $200,000 in February 2004. The scheme was funded by the New Zealand Government’s Agency for International Development and a spokeswoman said it had nothing to do with the hiring of McCoy. The contract was reportedly formally revoked in January last year. According to NZ media reports, McCoy was "working with military appointed Attorney-General and unelected Justice Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, and advised Commodore Bainimarama on establishing a Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption."
Sayed-Khaiyum said all allegations about McCoy need to be verified. He called on the media to stop speculating especially "parachute journalists" or "those sitting within the confines of their offices overseas.

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