Issue No: 840; 12 June 2001
Terrorist George Speight's `lawyer' is no lawyer afterall.
Yesterday Naidu was denied permission to practice in Fiji temporarily. The rejection of his application came in light of the fact that the University of London, from where Naidu claims he has received his law degree, denied that Naidu had graduated with a law degree.
Today the Fiji Times has published extracts from the London University's letter which says that one Navin Naidu had enrolled as an external law student in May 1987. Naidu had presented a certificate which stated that he graduated on 14 July 1987, merely 2 months after enrolment.
The London University stated that the signature on the certificate and the certificate itself presented by Naidu "bears little resemblance to a genuine University of London certificate and contains many discrepancies in wording, format and content which indicate that it is not genuine. Specifically I can confirm that the signature on the certificate is not the signature of the vice-chancellor of the University of London at that time".
This site had earlier questioned Naidu's legal existence (see http://www.pcgov.org.fj/hot_press/no836.htm ).
Yesterday, however, the Speight family defended the fraud and argued that he should be allowed to defend the terrorist brothers despite the lack of legal qualifications. The Fiji Times quotes one Speight brother as saying: "All we're interested in is his ability to argue and present the case with as much talent, fire and passion that he has so far displayed. In the end what use are legal degrees if a lawyer cannot represent or argue with as much clarity and passion as Naidu".
One civil servant reading the paper this morning remarked:
"What else can one expect from a family of criminals". The reference
was apparently to Speight' father who had been earlier implicated in a major
financial scam at a local dairy factory where he worked. While he was cleared of
the allegations, most believe that the process clearing him was a scam itself.
People's Coalition Government - Fiji Islands