Nauru MP Seeks Explanation For Quick Departure Of New Judge

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Fijian magistrate expected in court Monday, leaves country instead

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 4, 2014) – A Nauru MP Matthew Batsiua says the government should explain the sudden departure of the country's new resident magistrate.

Mr Batsiua says Ropate Cabealawa who is from Fiji left the country on Sunday.

Mr Cabealawa took up a three year contract with the government in March after it deported his predecessor Peter Law, accusing him of cronyism.

Mr Batsiua says there is alot of speculation and suspicion in Nauru around Mr Cabealawa's exit because he was expected in court on Monday.

"Everybody seems nervous to give the official explanation I guess because not many people know. So there's a bit of confusion and it doesn't give people a lot of confidence given the track record of the government and how they've interfered and sacked the former resident magistrate in the past," says Batsiua.

In March the Justice Minister David Adeang said the government had been improving the legal process with new extendable contracts for the judiciary to prevent cronyism and corruption.

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