Suva lawyer Jon Apted was yesterday accused of contempt of court for comments made in court two weeks ago for his client Richard Naidu. Gul Fatima, the lawyer for Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, told the High Court yesterday that Mr Apted had said that if evidence could not be challenged in court proceedings, “that would be a kangaroo court”.
She claimed that Mr Apted’s comments were “contempt in the face of the court”.
“What this means is that there was an officer of the court present in court on October 14, who made a statement to mean, that if this honorable court were to decline orders being sought, this honorable court would be a kangaroo court,” she said.
“Invariably kangaroo courts are not run by presiding judicial officers, with respect, they would be run by kangaroos.
“So the ordinary Fijian reading this article receiving the news in respect of this decision would hold a certain view about this court.”
Ms Fatima asked whether Justice Jude Nanayakkara wanted to launch committal proceedings under Order 52 of the High Court rules of his own motion or refer Mr Apted to any other body.
She said the AG had the right to consider issuing proceedings against Mr Apted in respect of his comment.
Justice Nanayakkara said a matter of contempt in the face of court should go before another judge and that Ms Fatima could inform the Court registry.
Justice Nanayakkara yesterday refused Mr Naidu’s application to cross-examine Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at the hearing of his contempt of court case, scheduled for next month.
He said that Mr Naidu was given full opportunity to defend the alleged contempt or to respond to the alleged contempt by filing an affidavit in reply, denying the allegation or providing some explanation.
“At the hearing of the