Its not what you know its who you know!!!

It has come to the SV management’s attention that a prominent Fiji lawyer with international status has briefed Commonwealth Lawyers from 52 Commonwealth countries about the biased decision made by the 3 stooges in regard to the Qarase versus Bainimarama Case. This was held in Jamaica.
We also believe that the Fiji lawyer has left Jamaica and is on his/her way to Australia to sit on a Panel Discussion of Court & Coups (specifically the Qarase/Bainimarama case) chaired by Duncan Kerr, Parliamentary Secretary Pacific Affairs, Federal parliament of Australia at the Australian National University in Canberra.
We would like to thank the person for sending us this information. It is music to our ears. Kudos to the prominent Fiji lawyer for leaving the country without being detained at Nadi Airport or shall I say thank you to the Police and Military for not giving the lawyer a hard time when leaving the country.
It seems that our good friend Katalina Balawanilotu was able to give us the great news first. Good on you Katalina! I like your style
The good Lord works in mysterious ways.

sv team


31 Responses to “Its not what you know its who you know!!!”

  1. Ablaze Says:

    Oh Wow! that is great news! This must be a scoop for SV for I haven’t read anything about it online.

    Soon we will find out who the prominent lawyer is and what was discussed.

    Qarase’s case maybe a blessing in disguise – an excellent way to let the world know what exactly is happening in Fiji and the corrupt judiciary.

  2. Cakau Says:

    Gates if you reading this maleka sara! I am not surprised it is either Ratu Joni or Graham Leung. Does anyone know whether they are in the country or not? The only other lawyer could be Jon Apted but he is with Babara looking after our friend Vilisi which is just as important to our fight.

    Military and Police this is our way of notifying the world. Internationally they must think it was a rotten decision for one of our lawyers to be invited to discuss the decision by these judges which has legalised coups.

  3. freedomfighter Says:

    What should we, and the upright lawyers do, when the judiciary is compromised? Read on ragone in Mondays Fiji SUN, 20 October:

    1908: Gandhi’s great bonfire of protest against injustice

    The Anglo-Boer War for Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an ideal opportunity for South African Indians to demonstrate where their loyalty lay in time of crisis, and to dispel the charges levelled against the community that they went to South Africa only “to fatten themselves”.

    As I pointed out in the last column, although he was sympathetic to the Boer (Afrikaner) cause, he felt as British subjects the South African Indians must prove themselves worthy of the part they aspired to play in the life of South Africa.

    He argued with his oppressed fellow South African Indians, and explained his own position: “I felt that, if I demanded rights as a British citizen, it was also my duty, as such, to participate in the defence of the British Empire.”

    He however was not ignorant of the fact that the “British oppress us equally with the Boers.

    If we are subjected to hardships in the Transvaal (a Boer colony), we are not very much better of in Natal of the Cape Colony. The difference, if, any, is only one of degree”.

    Gandhi’s view prevailed. Consequently, he organised an Indian Ambulance Corps 1100-strong which, under his command, served with distinction on the front line until 1900 when it was replaced by a contingent from the British Red Cross.

    Shortly afterwards Gandhi left for India believing, as his Jewish colleague, lawyer and co-worker Henry Polak recalled later, that the Indian contribution will be rewarded with the removal of racial and economic disabilities once the war was finally over.

    But the South African Indians were disappointed. They found that the British were now imposing the old Boer laws with far more vigour and haste in their bid to bring about a lasting reconciliation between the two white groups in South Africa.

    The Indians therefore once again turned to Gandhi, especially when they heard that Joseph Chamberlain, the British Secretary of State for the Colonies, was coming to South Africa on a fact-finding tour.

    In 1902 Gandhi returned to South Africa to lead a deputation to Chamberlain, first in Natal and later in Transvaal, pointing out him the catalogue of disabilities, and reminding Chamberlain of the claims of Lord Lansdowne, who had told a rally in England about why they has to go to war: “Among the many misdeeds of the South African republic, I do not know that any fills me with more indignation than its treatment of these Indians.”

    A year later, in 1903, as the focus of British campaign shifted to Transvaal, Gandhi settled down in Johannesburg, the capital of Transvaal, where he also reorganised the British Indian Association (BIA), dominated by Indian merchants and traders, and became its general secretary, with Polak as assistant secretary.

    By now Gandhi had convinced himself that “the freedom of South African Indians lay in the struggle of the Transvaal Indians themselves”.

    In fact, as early as 1896, the Indian Government and the Indians themselves believed that, “It is in South Africa that the status of overseas Indians (including those of in Fiji) must be determined.

    If they secure the position of British subjects in South Africa, it will be almost impossible to deny it to them elsewhere.

    If they fail to secure that position in South Africa, it will be extremely difficult for them to obtain it elsewhere”.

    As a way of digression, many readers who read the previous instalment have asked me to tell them a bit on what sort of a man was Gandhi in South Africa. The best description is that from Polak’s wife, Millie, who wrote a book in 1930 titled “Gandhi-The Man”.

    On the morning of 30 December 1905, she arrived in South Africa with the intention to marry Henry Polak. On her arrival at Jeppe Station in Johannesburg, she found Gandhi and Polak waiting on the platform for her. She recalled thus: “My first impression of Mr Gandhi was a medium-sized man, rather slenderly built, skin not very dark, mouth rather heavy, a small dark moustache, and the kindest eyes in the world, that seemed to light up from within when he spoke.

    His eyes were always his most remarkable feature and were in reality the lamps of his soul; one could read so much from them.

    His voice was soft, rather musical, and almost boyishly fresh.

    I particularly noticed this as we chatted of the little things on my journey and proceeded to his house.”

    Mr and Mrs Polak were to remain at Gandhi’s side throughout his stay in South Africa, and later kept in touch with him and his fight for India’s freedom until his assassination in 1948.

    In 1903, Polak had become editor of Gandhi’s newspaper, The Indian Opinion, which Gandhi had founded in order to highlight the grievances of South African Indians and mobilize public opinion.

    In his autobiography, My Experiments with Truth, Gandhi explained its importance: “Indian Opinion … was a part of my life. Week after week I poured out my soul in its columns and expounded the principles and practice of satyagraha as I understood it.

    During 10 years, that is until 1914, excepting the intervals of my enforced rest in prison there was hardly an issue of ‘Indian Opinion’ without an article from me.

    I cannot recall a word in these articles set down without thought or deliberation or word of conscious exaggeration, or anything merely to please. Indeed the journal became for me a training in self restraint and for friends a medium through which to keep in touch with my thoughts.”

    In 1908 Polak, who trained under Gandhi as a lawyer, took over the Indian leader’s law firm, M. K. Gandhi – Attorney, so that Gandhi could launch his passive resistance campaign, non-violent, non-cooperation against the South African state’s oppressive anti-Indian legislations.

    The rule of law and the role of South African judges, in later years described as “apartheid’s judges”, played heavily in shaping the young Gandhi, and the future Mahatma of India.

    He first went to England as a law student and later to South Africa as a lawyer where, the self-confessed royalist turned rebel lawyer of the British Empire.

    In fact, he was influenced by the way both Colonial and Imperial authorities legislated and interpreted the laws against him and his Indian countrymen in South Africa.

    It was the racist laws of South Africa that brought out the lawyer in Gandhi and propelled him on to the South African, Indian and the world stage.

    It was in South Africa where he first saw the inside of a jail in 1908 and which would become a routine feature of his life there and later in India.

    In point of fact, his death on 30 January 1948 happened almost exactly to the day forty years after a murderous assault on him by a fellow Indian outside a Johannesburg law firm in 1908.

    He acquired the art of negotiation through the practice of law in South Africa where his principal and foremost antagonist was General Jan Christian Smuts, the Boer leader and one of the most brilliant Cambridge educated lawyers of his generation.

    But Gandhi, more than Smuts, deeply held to the view that the basic principles of the British Constitution – ideals of liberty – must be maintained at all costs. “Hardly ever have I known anybody to cherish such loyalty as I did to the British Constitution”. He pointed out the theory to the British Constitution that there should be no legal racial inequality between different subjects of the Crown, no matter how much practice may vary according to local circumstances.

    He also laid claim in equity for rightful admission to Smuts Boer-led Transvaal Republic which had been granted Responsible Government on 1 January 1907. Above all, he invoked Queen Victoria’s 1858 Proclamation issued after the Indian Mutiny which stated that “The Queen’s Indian subjects were entitled to the same rights in the Colonies as all her other subjects”. Gandhi considered the Proclamation the Magna Charta of the British Indians.

    He also asserted the right of civil resistance against unjust laws, specially the Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act or Black Act, which required Indians to register and be fingerprinted “like criminals”. For Gandhi, “Civil disobedience is the inherent right of a citizen.

    He dare not give it up without ceasing to be a man. Civil disobedience is never followed by anarchy. Criminal disobedience can lead to it. Every State puts down criminal disobedience by force. It perishes, if it does not. But to put down civil disobedience is to attempt to imprison conscience.” In 1908 he launched his satyagraha, and with his civil resisters had come to paralyze the Transvaal’s legal system and Smuts, in desperation, was forced to arrest and imprison Gandhi who, on the other hand, utilised his imprisonment by reading John Ruskin, Henry Thoreau, the Bible, the life of Garibaldi and the essays of Lord Bacon.

    He also saw clearly that the aims and methods of the struggle were of more than local or temporary significance; he was aware of their meaning for man everywhere. “Indians in the Transvaal will stagger humanity without shedding a drop of blood”.

    His conviction was hardened further when the Russian pacifist Leo Tolstoy wrote to him: “And so your activity in the Transvaal, as it seems to us, at the end of the world, and in which not only the nations of the Christian, but of all the world, will unavoidably take part.”

    With faith still unshaken in British legal institutions, Gandhi wrote: “It is because I consider myself to be a lover of the Empire for what I have learned to be its beauties that, seeing, rightly or wrongly, in the Asiatic Law Amendment Act seeds of danger to it, I have advised my countrymen at all costs to resist the Act in the most peaceful and, shall I add, Christian manner.”

    Gandhi also welcomed General Smuts decision to prosecute him and other leaders as being indeed the “only method of testing the reality and universality of Asiatic feeling”.

    The trials in court which Gandhi now figured, mostly in defence of passive resisters, were a new phase of his professional and public life. His shrewdness as a lawyer enabled him to use open defiance of repugnant laws as a means of educating public opinion. He advised his clients to plead not guilty, so that the court could hear from their own mouths what they had to say.

    The trials brought more publicity to his movement than all the petitions and deputations had done so far, and compelled the Imperial Government to take notice of what was happening to citizens of an Empire which claimed to be the most civilised in the history of the world.

    He had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge of disobeying orders to leave the Transvaal within 48 hours. Gandhi later recalled having “some slight feeling of awkwardness due to the fact that I was standing as an accused in the very court where I had often appeared as counsel”.

    It would not be his last appearance as an accused in a South African court. In the early years Gandhi had great faith in the South African legal system. He now decided that it was time to turn to extra-legal protest, for justice was not blind in South Africa.

    The scales of justice were tilted in favour of his oppressors; hence to him “Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state has become lawless and corrupt.

    And a citizen who barters with such a state shares in its corruption and lawlessness…Every citizen is responsible for every act of his government…There is only one sovereign remedy, namely, non-violent non-cooperation”.

  4. Anon Says:

    its Graham Leung

  5. LUVfiji Says:

    Yep.. @anon , I think so too. It would have to be someone like him.

    Thanks KB for that bit of news and for yr vigilance for such information. Fantastic as it may sound, my fear is that Leung may have difficulties re-entering the country. Probably not.

    Qarase & Others really dont need to do anymore now. Let the international community work with legal experts such as we have here with the Commonwealth. Meanwhile, what is the ForumSec doing? Snoozing. Oh.. typically paced at pacific time! I guess we can forget them. Dou se moce tiko madaga.

  6. Mark Manning Says:

    I , collectively with many others , have done what I can to help bring this coup to an end .
    When our Foreign Minister Mr. Smith was headed for Fiji last time , I advised him that Fijians were unhappy with the regime and doubted the Commander and his regime’s sincerity regarding the elections in March 2009 .
    It seems that all the complaints have had their impact .

  7. amazon Says:

    Good stuff @ Graham Leung! I hve the utmost respect for Graham Leung as a lawyer, now, IF ONLY Qarase & team had sought his advice or other competent lawyers in what wud otherwise hve been a water-tight case against the military junta.

    Let me just add in respect of this article, that there are other professionals who hve undertaken similar activities as Graham but one of the keys to their effectiveness is allowing them a low profile for obvious reasons.

    @freedomfighter – loved that article by Victor Lal. Now if only NP wud hve the sense to put that up as a separate post instead to trying to give notice to that Tabakau-wakakau because believe you me, that thug of a policeman does not give a hoot about that post…he is well protected by you know who. I’ve heard countless incidents where this man has threatened to hurt and kill people without allowing them the due process they’re entitled to as of right under our Constitution… and the last time I checked, Gates said it was still intact. There was even a TV footage on the people from Tovata, not so long ago, airing their grievances openly about Tabakau & his cronies who regularly bully and terrorise that neighbourhood for no reason at all. How can all those people from Tovata be wrong when what they say makes so much sense to me and that smooth talking thug-Tabakau, the self-imposed vigilante, be right? If anything, their coming out publicly (and people in Fiji don’t do that very easily unless they’re so fed-up) reflects badly on him as a senior police officer in charge of operations. Now someone remind me again why did that the legitimate and professional Police Commander Andrew Hughes sack/demote him..?

  8. Ablaze Says:

    @Amazon please tell me who the other professionals that are in the same calibre as Graham Leung with status not only in Fiji but overseas that have undertaken similar activities?

    Also for what obvious reasons would they allow themselves a low profile?

    Mr Leung was a threat to the Regime right from the start because of the influence he has overseas. I can honestly say apart from Ratu Joni there is no one else in Fiji that is given the same amount of respect overseas as Mr Leung. This must be a great worry for the Regime?

    During good times any lawyer travelling in and out of Fiji undertaking such activities would only bring back good tidings for our country. This would benefit all lawyers, the Law Society and the judiciary and they should never allow themselves a low profile.

    I applaud Mr Leung for remaining in Fiji and not migrating when he has all the possiblities of migrating if he wanted to.

  9. amazon Says:

    @ Ablaze – First, I will not indulge you with yr Q’s so feel free to think what you like. Second, I’m not going to grade lawyers on ‘respect’… for obvious reasons 🙂 and third, you obviously don’t live here like the rest of us.

  10. IslandBoy Says:

    FYI – I’m not exactly sure what happened in Mr. Leung’s case, but I do know for certain some people stopped from departure took legal action and were offered 5 figure sums to settle out of court by the IG. One or two refused on principle and IG’s legal eagles are literally at wits end.

    So let em detain him on arrivall, he’ll just make another pot of cash, not that he needs it, and they’ll end up looking really intelligent. (yet again)

  11. IslandBoy Says:

    @Ablaze – my favourite local lawyers are Niko Nawaikula and Devenesh Sharma, island boys who tell it like it is!

  12. Ablaze Says:

    Thanks amazon respect your wishes but please don’t come in here trying to deflate our egoes because it will take more than your comments to do that to us.

    I have been reading your comments and am sceptical about your intentions but I think I know.

    You seem to have an air of arrogance about you that tells us that you don’t belong with us.

    This blog site is free to all not like the country I live in where we have to have a low profile if we do not support the Bainimarama Regime.

    Does that tell you where I live?

    What a crying shame you don’t have Mr Leung on your side for he is Fiji’s most known and respected lawyer overseas.

    It would have been the icing on the cake if Mr Leung & Ratu Joni were desperate for a pay cheque and compromised their integrity to join the Bainimarama Regime.

  13. Nostradamus Says:

    Elected PM Qarase and co should continue to pursue all legal avenues available in Fiji, such as the appeal process, if for no other reason than to further demonstrate that corruption of the regime and in particular the court system. This can be done at the same time overseas lobbying is taking place. Anything that draws the attention of the World to the antics of this regime is helpful.

    Keep the regime responding, because every time they do, they reveal their sinister motives and their absence of grey matter. They reveal no concern for the People of Fiji and no concern for the law, and in most cases cannot even put together a proper English sentence.

    Even Vili’s protest has the extra benefit or revealing this Waisea Tabakau goon in the police force, making death threats to people exercising their democratic rights. Obviously the Regime supports these wooden head bullies and every time they open their mouths, they show what the goons think of human rights vs. gun rights. They seem to have a need to revert to the days of pre-cession as if abusive force is the key to good governance and “child” behavior.

  14. amazon Says:

    @ Ablaze – I’m sorry that you feel that way but like everyone else, u’re entitled to yr views just as I am entitled to express mine the way I feel it even if it appears to others to come out all wrong at times but hey, that’s what makes each of us unique beings, aye?

    On Graham Leung, u’re definitely reading me wrong, sigh… let me just say that if he were here next to me, I’d give him a big bear hug just for you. Well, I’ll bid you g’nite now since it’s late in Fiji and we ladies treasure our beauty sleep, don’t we?

    Btw, for what it’s worth, I enjoy reading yr posts. You’re ok. So blog right on…

  15. Ablaze Says:

    IslandBoy my favourite lawyer in Fiji is Koila Mara! Just kidding!

    I have been lucky or just a good person because I have not yet had the need to have a lawyer represent me in our Kangaroo Court. Lord forbid!

    Hey what has happened to the Ballu Khan case?

  16. IslandBoy Says:

    @Ablaze – in that case mine has got to be Kid Khaiyum!

  17. Budhau Says:

    I thought Amazon wrote a good piece in here – I think some idiots just did not get it – they guy is on your side.

    Posting that Lal dudes piece in here – come NP, how come you lagging.

    My favourite lawyer – Tui Savu – BTW how come you guys did not send him to the International lawyers meet in Argentina.

    And Amazon was right – Local lawyers who handled the ground work for the Qarase case screwed up the case – so don’t go around blaming the court.

  18. LUVfiji Says:

    Yes, I thought so too, Bud. And she’s been ‘mis-understood’ on her views on Leung.

    Amazon is definitely with us in our fight for democracy. Lets hope she’ll be back.

    As for favourite lawyers, mine’s gotta be T Fa.. 500 bucks in our hour of NEED!

  19. Ablaze Says:

    LUVfiji – Each to their own but during these difficult times when we are struggling for recognition great news like what Mr Leung has been involved in, should never be discussed with any apprehension.

    We should rejoice and thank the Lord that we had a representative the calibre of Mr Leung that could match any oversea’s lawyer and was invited to attend these discussions.

    I believe we have capable lawyers here but without the oversea’s status Mr Leung has.

    Budhau I would sooner deal with you anytime than Amazon – you are predictable, Amazon gives me the creeps whether she/he is on our side or not.

    Change my lawyer preference – will go with you LUVfiji Te Fa $500 cash in hand!

  20. egregious Says:

    Graham Leung happens to be on the Council of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association which is meeting in Jamaica. Fiji should be proud of the fact that one of its citizens is represented on such a body along with

    Ron Heinrich (Australia) – President

    Mohamed Husain (South Africa) – Vice President

    Tim Daniel (England & Wales) – Honorary Treasurer

    Elize Angula Ndjavera (Namibia)

    Dr Lloyd Barnett (Jamaica)
    Tinoziva Bere (Zimbabwe) Tim Bugg (Australia)
    David Greene (England & Wales) Graham Leung (Fiji)
    James McNeill QC (Scotland)

    Patrick Moss (Hong Kong)
    Graeme Mew (Canada)

    Boma Ozobia (Nigeria)
    Roseline Odede (Kenya) Hugh Robertson (Canada)
    Dato Roy Rajasingham (Malaysia)

    Mohammad Akram Sheikh (Pakistan)
    Soli Sorabjee (India)

  21. Ablaze Says:

    Thank you egregious for those names – yes something else our Mr Leung!

    Could it be these overseas discussions that have lead the Regime and Bainimarama to call a meeting with other parties for quick elections?

    God Bless You Mr Leung!

  22. newsfiji Says:

    Well, am so happy now! Thank you Mr Leung! Thank You Lina for giving SV management the heads up on this one!

  23. ispy Says:

    Has anyone actually confirmed if its Grahame?

    Just curious… 🙂

  24. Cakau Says:

    No doubt it is Graham – who else could it be? He is the only Fiji lawyer that is very well known overseas – much to the illegal Junata’s digust!

  25. church mouse Says:

    Just google ANU seminar for today.
    I spoke to Duncan Kerr recently and he’s chair of the seminar. Seems an intelligent guy who understands Fiji.

  26. Glawyer Says:

    From Fijilive, looks like another of Gates judgements overturned…blurry fool!!

    The Supreme Court has quashed the conviction of Dr Sachida Mudaliar who was jailed for three years for manslaughter in 2006.

    Dr Mudaliar who caused the death of a 22yr old USP student, Poonam Pritika Kumar has also been granted a new trial by the Supreme Court.

    The Supreme Court ruled that there was a miscarriage of justice by trial judge Justice Anthony Gates and the Fiji Court of Appeal Judges, who failed to adduce fresh evidence from two overseas medical practitioners.

    The three Judges Justice Keith Mason, Justice Kenneth Handley and Justice Mark Weinberg said the evidence given by some overseas experts were contradictory.

    The defence counsel in this case Mudaliars lawyer maintained throughout the trial, that Poonam Pritika Kumar already had a miscarriage before she went to see Dr. Mudaliar.

    The three judges in their ruling said that some overseas experts did highlight that there was a possibility that Poonam already had a miscarriage before she went to see Mudaliar and that the High Court and the Appeals court did not fully analyize this part of the evidence while handling the case.

    They ruled that the conviction on the count of manslaughter be quashed and the sentence set aside.

    The court also noted that Mudaliar has already served his term.

  27. Bechu Says:

    A friend rang earlier this evening to confirm that Graham had a brilliant presentation at this seminar and had successfully put across what most of us would want this high profile legal and other professionls to hear – from a practicising Fiji lawyer.
    We say kudos Graham – push tiko Naita.

  28. LUVfiji Says:

    Thanks for that update, Bechu. Good one!

  29. natewaprince Says:

    @ Amazon, and I love you too. And you too Budhau.

  30. Fiji Forward Says:

    Graham ga qori koya dau kubu lau samu tu mai na Marist Old Boys Club???

  31. Isalei Says:

    Kila vinaka o iko Fast foward? Dua na ka na levu ni ka vaya o kila, mmm kilavata club eh?

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