Politician/Lawyer debarred for coup activities

  • 28th April 2003
  • 2003
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Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure, a lawyer and high chief from Vanua Levu has been barred from practising law for his coup-related activities.

The ban was placed on Vakalalabure by the disciplinary committee of the Fiji Law Society on Friday, April 25.

Committee chairman Anil Tikaram said the committee found him guilty of showing professional misconduct during the illegal takeover of Parliament in May 2000.

He was sworn in as attorney general of the illegal Speight government one day after Speight and his special forces men stormed parliament and took captive Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry and 42 other members of his government.

The committee said the explanation by the accused showed he had acted in a manner that displayed a serious lack of understanding of the rule of law and his role as a solicitor for the High Court of Fiji.

Vakalalabure has also been charged by the Director of Public Prosecution’s office for taking an illegal oath and for related seditious activities. He is out on bail of $10,000 pending court hearing in June.

Today, the Fiji Labour Party wrote to the Speaker and the Prime Minister seeking Vakalalabure’s removal as Deputy Speaker of the House.

“It is a question of the integrity of parliament, and parliamentary convention,” Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said.

Vakalalabure said he would appeal the Law Society decision.