SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 17) – The appointment of Justice Anthony Gates as acting Chief Justice is a disgrace, says Chief Justice Daniel Fatiaki.

Justice Fatiaki, who was ordered by interim Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to take leave pending an inquiry, said he had not been contacted or told of any accusations against him.

He said he was not aware of any inquiry into his work, even though he had been on leave with full pay for two weeks.

Justice Gates was sworn in yesterday. He said the inadequacies of the legal system were "notorious" and had undermined the rule of law.

The judge said there was a need for a "no stone unturned" inquiry into allegations against some judicial officers and practices.

Justice Fatiaki said he considered Justice Gates' appointment a breach of trust and said it was unnecessary because he could have been recalled to duty.

''Why did the Attorney General ask another judge to convene the (Judicial Services) Commission meeting?'' he asked. ''The Judicial Services Commission is supposed to be called by the chair of the commission, which is the Chief Justice.''

The meeting, which endorsed the appointment of Justice Gates, had been headed by Justice Nazhat Shameem.

''It doesn't mean that I'm on leave - forced leave, that is - and I cannot come in and call a meeting of the commission,'' he said.

Justice Shameem said she was saddened to hear Justice Fatiaki's remarks.

When asked about the appointment of Justice Gates, she said, ''I don't want to comment on it, as a judge''.

Justice Gates also did not want to comment on Justice Fatiaki's remarks

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