Chris Merritt, Legal affairs editor | April 27, 2009

Article from:  The Australian

THE federal Government has been accused of ignoring concerns about the welfare of Australian expatriate judges in Fiji who were sacked by that country’s military Government.

Sacked Fiji High Court judge Thomas Hickie, who returned to Australia on Friday, accused the Government of allowing its political stance against Fiji’s military-backed Government to cause “a lapse in its duty to Australian citizens”.

He said the Australian embassy in Fiji was aware of concerns about the welfare of Australian judges, but took no action to check on the safety of most of them after President Josefa Iloilo sacked the judiciary and tore up the Constitution on April 10.

“The Australian embassy never contacted us to check whether we were OK,” Mr Hickie said.

“They might not have agreed with us being there, but they should have engaged with us.”

Mr Hickie, who accepted judicial office in Fiji in March last year, said the embassy had long been against Australian lawyers taking judicial positions after Frank Bainimarama’s coup of December 2006.



  1. Keep The Faith Says:

    What a laugh! Now that you’re out you realise the fckued up situation you were in Hickie?

    Good thing you followed your fellow australian injustice byrnes & his barbara cartlandish wife, the fcku outta here.

  2. Budhau Says:

    The judge has a legitimate complaint – that the Australian Embassy in Fiji should have checked on these Judges who were Australian citizens. Just like they showed their concern about some newspaper publishers who were affected by the regime’s actions. The judge is not complaining about Fiji government action, he is concerned with the responsibility of the the Australian Embassy was.

    The point here is that the Australian Embassy should be concerned with the welfare of all Australian Citizens.

  3. Willy Says:

    And here comes a rare piece of high quality journalism as found in our nations leading newspaper….

    NAVY Commander Francis Kean says the best way forward is to stay connected with God.

    Addressing a huge crowd at the New Methodist Church conference on Saturday night, Commander Kean said he pleaded guilty in court because he wanted to tell the truth.

    Two years after his ordeal over manslaughter charges in the High Court, Mr Kean finally broke his silence and spoke of his experience.

    Before he began his testimony at the Tattersalls Leisure Centre in Suva on Saturday night, he apologised to the family of 32-year-old John Whippy, who Kean was convicted of killing at a wedding reception in Suva. “If there’s any of John’s family, relatives or friends here, I ask you to forgive me,” he said.

    He also apologised to Police Commissioner Esala Teleni for not listening to him earlier, and to anyone he had wronged.

    He spoke of how his life change dramatically when he started appearing before the court.

    Mr Kean said things were all going wrong, he started attending different churches and his family started to question him of his intentions.

    Mr Kean said he felt like he was jumping ships and abandoning his crew.

    He said that at one his appearances in court, he had a flashback and something kept telling him to tell the truth.

    Mr Kean said he returned to his lawyer and told him he was going to plead guilty to the charge. “My lawyer was angry but I told him that God had spoken,” he said.

    Mr Kean emphasised on staying connected with God and challenged everyone to do the same.

  4. Makare59 Says:

    Shows up the hypocrisy of the Aussie’s, Poor judge. Maybe the Aus.Govt didn’t like their judgement which led to the abrogation. Was that a slight slap on the wrist of the judges. Politics has many ugly faces.

  5. islandboy57 Says:

    This is the judge Hickie who conspired with Pryde, Khaiyum and Shameem to impose hefty fines on Fiji Time staff etc – and now complaints of injustice

  6. Tuma Says:

    lolz at the Hickster………as for Keanie, how many times have we seen this show….

  7. Tuma Says:

  8. Tuma Says:

    This would be opportune time to send VB and his entourage for a tour of Mexico.

  9. senijiale Says:

    Awwwhh boo hoo hoo, isa go ahead and cry yourselves a river pricky Hickie & pixie Scutt… everyone’s past caring!

    Sa rui sivia na laga sere, rugby league and imposing out-of-this-world fines… looks like the Fiji Times kai valagi publisher, editor Netani Rika & democracy activist Angie Heferrnan are having the last laugh, lol.

  10. Budhau Says:

    The judge is not complaining about his situation. It is very likely that the judge refused to sign up under the new order and chose to return to Australian.

    So for those who somehow feel that the judge lost his job and all that – I don’t think you should be celebrating.

    What the judge is complaining about is that as an Australian citizen, he had some expectations from the Australian Embassy. Just because these judges had decided to stay on as judges, despite the Australian government’s wishes that they rather resign, that does not mean that the Embassy should not have checked on their well being when the constitution was abrogated.
    I am sure that if we had another coup that took out Frank, it would still be the Australian government’s responsibility to evacuate all Australian citizens who may be in any danger.

  11. kaiveicoco Says:

    I think all the AUssie Embassy’s intention abouit the honorable judge was ” as a lawyer and high court judge at that,you should have known better” I also think Judge Hickey is not an aussie citizen, i think he is a british citizen.
    The next comment i would like to hear is from Christopher Pryde.Will he blame the New Zealand High Commission ?

  12. Cama Says:

    They should have sought advice from their respective embassies before commiting themselves in the first place.

    When they have met their fate now than they want to sought refuge from their Government representative, I think that this is silly and even though the Aussie Govenment had to take care of its citizen, all citizens should have a courtesy of informing them of their intentions to work under an illegal regime.

  13. Talei Tabusoro Says:

    Oh good so then add this to the mix :

    Sign on ragone and fight the guns !

  14. Talei Tabusoro Says:

    If above page does not display — type out in its entirety or go to their site


  15. Talei Tabusoro Says:


    this should do it

  16. 0U812 Says:

    What concerns me with the whole situation is that certain people high up in the order are using the Lord’s name in vain as a means to try and justify their wrongdoing.They should however realise that when the time comes they will be meeting the baker and not the maker for all the pain and the suffering they have brought upon the people of this beloved country especially those less fortunate people.I certainly hope that those who can make a change do open their eyes and see that we are falling further into this abyss before it is too late.Keep the faith people!!!!

  17. Talei Tabusoro Says:

    What a pleasing sight it is viewing the steady stream of signatures growing in numbers. Keep those signatures coming ragone and pass along the message to all those in your address books 🙂


  18. Talei Tabusoro Says:

    Why awaiting moderation moderator ? I am not a new-comer here. Or are you now doing a pick and choose contributor — Only those who contribute monthly is allowed entrance ?

  19. Talei Tabusoro Says:

    Oh I see, it is because of the Links I entered

    Understood 🙂

  20. senijiale Says:

    Bula vinaka Talei, hve just opened them links, will definitely sign up.
    You Go Gal!

  21. Talei Tabusoro Says:

    Bula vinaka to you too @senijiale and thanks for the support.

  22. applesauce Says:

    Go Fiji Freedom – evryone should sign on – this is power to the people-petition power. SIGN ON RAGONES!

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