Thursday, February 29, 2024
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AG says he did not intervene, PM defends Turaga

Attorney-General Siromi Turaga says he did not intervene in his official capacity as the Chief Legal Counsel to Government to assist an accused person in a pending criminal case.

Speaking to the media, Turaga said: “How would I have intervened? I did not intervene.”

He further said that he had no comment in relation to the front page of one of the dailies over the weekend.

Opposition MP, Faiyaz Koya told Parliament that on April 1st, the Attorney-General was seen to overstep the mark sending his Personal Staff Officer to inform a judicial officer of Turaga’s decision, per se, to pay a sum of $1500 as restitution on behalf of the accused persons.

Koya said this is seen as a breach of the Constitution.

“The Attorney-General is the Chief Legal Officer to the Government and not to the public. The Attorney-General needs to understand now that he is the Attorney-General and that he much act as such.”

“You have a role to play in the selection of judicial officers, and that the Attorney-General must not intervene or make representations in a personal capacity in such matters – This can be seen as the Executive Arm interfering with judicial processes,” Koya said.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has defended the Attorney-General for assisting the accused person and said this is regardless of the Office that Turaga holds.

“He did that on a personal level.”

Rabuka was also pressed a question as to why the Attorney-General instructed his Personal Staff Officer to make representation in Court, as a senior public officer.

“You can use anybody or any legal legit for you…and that is subjected to the court and the court as such…made the awards can be paid by anybody,” Rabuka said.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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