FIJIAN JUDGE TAKES BENCH IN SOLOMON ISLANDS

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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Apr. 5) - Former Fiji Chief Magistrate Sekove Naqiolevu was sworn in as a judge of the Solomon Island's High Court last week.

Justice Naqiolevu was sworn alongside British judge Edwin Goldsbrough by Governor General Sir Nathaniel Waena before being welcomed by acting Chief Justice Frank Kabui.

They were expected to have started work yesterday.

At the swearing in ceremony, Justice Naqiolevu assured Solomon Islanders he would deliver a fair and impartial hearing.

"Let me assure Solomon Islanders that all who come before me will receive a fair and impartial hearing and I shall do my utmost to guard against their rights enshrined in the constitution and laws of this country," he said.

Justice Naqiolevu said justice is a fundamental right that all peace-loving citizens hold near to their hearts and it must be given the importance and recognition it deserves by the relevant authorities.

He said the judiciary, as the third and important arm of government, must be provided with the necessary resources to undertake the role of prosecution of all citizens.

Justice Naqiolevu said his appointment was necessitated by the need to ensure the many pending tension cases were dealt with in a timely and judicious manner and, more importantly, that quality justice is provided to all citizens.

"I have no doubt that my brother judge and I have no illusion about the heavy and complex workload that is ahead of us and will do all within our power and resources to assist in dispensing of these cases efficiently and effectively," Justice Naqiolevu said.

Justice Naqiolevu had worked in Fiji and PNG while Justice Goldsbrough worked in the Caribbean, Africa and Vanuatu.

Attorney-General Qoriniasi Bale could not be reached for a comment.

Naqiolevu worked as chief magistrate and lawyer in Fiji before being appointed High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea. He is a widower and has two sons.

April 6, 2005

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