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Court : 3 Of 5 Assessors Rule In Favour Of 15 In Ra Sedition Case

Court : 3 Of 5 Assessors Rule In Favour Of 15 In Ra Sedition Case
14th accused in Ra Sedition Ulaiyasi Rabua Tuivomo (right), with his lawyer Aman Singh outside Lautoka High Court on September 15, 2017. Photo: Kathrin Krishna
September 16
10:06 2017

Three of the five assessors in the Ra Sedition case yesterday found the 15 accused persons not guilty of the charges they are facing at the Lautoka High Court.

Justice Aruna Aluthge made his closing remarks in the morning before the assessors came up with their opinion in the afternoon.

In his closing remarks the judge said that the only person who had taken the witness box was the first accused Ratu Epeli Niudamu.

He said that Niudamu told the court that he had signed on two separate pages.

The judge said that the first accused had agreed to signing without any seditious intention.

Instead, Niudamu had told the court that he had signed because the late Tui Navitilevu, Ratu Bolobolo had asked him to sign and the signatures were for fighting for natural resources and fishing grounds.

The judge also told the court that Niudamu had also said that he was shocked to see his signature on the Uluda Declaration, Ra Petition to International Court of Justice and Ra Sovereign Christian State document which he had never seen before but was shown to him during the caution interview by the officers.

The judge also told the court that 14 of the accused had opted for the right to remain silent.

He said they had agreed to signing the Uluda Declaration, Ra Petition to International Court of Justice and Ra Sovereign Christian State documents.

The fifteen accused are Ratu Epeli Niudamu, Sailasa Wairoaroa Malani, Sereima Adidave Rokodi, Nanise Kasami Nagusuca,  Waisea Dualima, Isikeli Waisega Kabakoro, Laisiasa Mocevakaca, Emosi Toga, Waisake Racaca, Samuela Ligabalavu, Mikaele Gonerara, Josefa Natau, Sulueti Lotu Waqalala, Ulaiyasi Rabua Tuivomo and Apolosi Qalilawa.

The fifteen are charged with sedition contrary to section 67 (1) (a) of the Crimes Act 2009.

The fifteen accused persons in this matter are charged with sedition in relation to the alleged Ra sovereign Christian state matter.

All accused persons are charged with two counts each of sedition except Nanise Kasami Nagusuca and Waisea Dualima who are charged with four counts each of sedition.

The judge will be giving his judgment at 2pm on September 22 at the Lautoka High Court.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  kathrin.krishna@fijisun.com.fj

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