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Defence Call for Mistrial Dismissed by the High Court

Defence Call for Mistrial Dismissed by the High Court
August 23
12:47 2017

Lautoka High Court judge Justice Aruna Aluthge yesterday dismissed the defence’s application for a mistrial in the Ra sedition case.

Justice Aluthge ruled that the claim by defence lawyer, Aman Ravindra Singh, on the non-disclosure of important evidential documents was not factual. This is because the documents in question had been produced during the voir dire hearing.

Sixteen people are charged with one count each of sedition for allegedly attempting to form a Ra Sovereign Christian State.

Prosecutor Lee Burney had pointed out earlier that the defence had failed to ask questions regarding the documents during the voir dire hearing and that they were aware of the documents.

Mr Burney told the court that there were many copies of the document but the one which was important was the signed copy which had been disclosed.

Eighth state witness, from the Criminal Investigation Department, Assistant Superintendent Sevuloni Masitabua was then called in and state lawyer Semi Babitu asked him about the interview session with the tenth accused Josefa Natau.

ASP Masitabua told the court that Natau was given his rights before the interview.

Mr Singh then questioned ASP Masitabua about the right to silence under section 13 of the Constitution.

ASP Masitabua told the court that Natau was given the right to a solicitor.

Mr Singh then asked ASP Masitabua if the Police had received any lodged complaints about Nanise Nagusuca causing any harm to the Government in 2014.

ASP Masitabua replied yes, but said he could not provide any evidence as he was directed by his superiors to carry out the investigation and the interviews for Nagusuca.

Mr Singh has demanded for a written Police statement of the complainant.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

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