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Fire destroys Fiji Law Society

Fire destroys Fiji Law Society

An investigation is under way into the cause of a fire which destroyed the Fiji Law Society offices in Suva overnight.Australia Network News reported today (13 October) that firefighters were…

An investigation is under way into the cause of a fire which destroyed the Fiji Law Society offices in Suva overnight.

Australia Network News reported today (13 October) that firefighters were able to salvage some of the building, but police and forensic teams are now looking into how the fire started.

The fire is the next in a long line of recent trouble experienced by the Law Society, which was last year deregistered by Fiji's military-installed government. The move stripped the society of its ability to issue practicing certificates and made membership voluntary.

In April 2009 Law Society president Dorsami Naidu, a critic of the military regime, was detained on sedition charges.

Naidu has told Radio Australia he is waiting on authorities to discover how the fire began.

"We have our problems with the regime," he said.

"But in regards to foul play I can't make any comment at this stage. No purpose would be served when all our powers have been taken over and the regime has taken the files which they require in regards to complaints against our members.

"So there's nothing really that anyone would have to gain, unless they were just being bloody minded."

Naidu said the building's fire alarms went off at around 2am and security contacted Law Society staff shortly after.

The fire destroyed electronic equipment, furniture and records, which is bound to cause significant delays to even the most basic administration.

"We were just about to hold elections again for the positions of president and members of the council. Nominations were to close this Friday, so this will have a huge impact," said Naidu.

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