April 07, 2009

Two down and One to go

Sound the alarm. Ring in the good cheer. Break open the champers. Justice is being served and the military regime is now on notice.

Even though Corporal Maika Vuniwawa changed his plea at the 11th hour to guilty, the courts have upheld some semblance of justice and put him away for 3 years. The equation of a life equaling a mere 3 years of jail time (even if it is manslaughter) could have been improved however.

Nevertheless we do salute Justice Daniel Gounder for again upholding the rule of law under the most challenging of judicial circumstances. Take a bow Justice Gounder.

This is a case that has dragged on for two years mind you. Funnily enough Justice Nazhat Shameem was scheduled to preside over this trial, but her sojourn abroad (as spotted in Korea with her sister Shaista Shameem at Incheon International airport recently) perhaps made this impossible. Or not worth her neck—especially trivial cases that do not support her agenda. You be the judge but note that her court rulings from 6/12 todate will be evidence enough.

The Verebasaga family has held on bravely awaiting this day. More power to you gang.

Vuniwawa’s lawyer, Haroon Ali Shah tried his darndest to make those billable hours worth his client’s while by stressing Verebasaga’s death as almost accidental. Unbelievable.

Perhaps Haroon Ali Shah should have prodded his client harder. He might have (and we do stress the word MIGHT here), gained a conscience if he dug deep enough to uncover the real reason for Verebasaga’s death which has been rumoured to be very closely linked to Francis Kean’s trial.

Dig deeper oh those who should dig. The crap about Verebasaga being involved in a land dispute is a trojan horse. The word out on the streets is that Verebasaga was the innocent bystanding taxi-driver that witnessed the fatal intentional blows that Francis Kean assailed on Mr Whippy at the wedding reception of Bainimarama’s daughter.

And for Francis Kean’s freedom, Vuniwawa is made expendable. Let’s hope the rest of Fiji’s military world get this message loud and clear.

But the big one is about to unfold. Ousted PM Laisenia Qarase’s bid to appeal the flawed Gates decision on the legality of the 6/12 coup is before the Court of Appeal.

Justice Gates has already been fiddling with the startling (and expensive) trend of hired QC gun’s on the Court of Appeal front. Gates' professional reputation (well the tatters that remains of it at least) is on the line after all.

The new Court of Appeal Judge, Justice Francis Maxwell Douglas should know that his fellow Australian comrade Justice Jocelyn Scutt is already feeling the pressure back home.

The military regime's legal crew is not in short supply of QCs and obviously no tax-paying expense has been spared. So yep they’re dead-set serious (and desperate) about making sure they stay on.

Talking about desperation, Pita Driti’s recent uncouth, unintelligent and unpalatable outbursts is tangible proof of a desperate individual. Michael Field’s latest opinion has an interesting twist to it.

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