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Lawyers in Times case object to amended information

Lawyers in Times case object to amended information
Fiji Times Publisher Hank Arts in an earlier hearing.
February 14
11:00 2018

Bail was extended for all accused men.

All four lawyers engaged in the Fiji Times alleged se­dition case have objected to the amended information filed and served by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).

The accused, Nai Lalakai col­umn writer Josaia Waqabaca, Nai Lalakai Editor Anare Ravula, Fiji Times Editor in Chief Fred Wes­ley, and Publisher Hank Arts were all present in the High Court in Suva yesterday.

Defence lawyer Wylie Clarke appeared on instructions of the newspaper company.

Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Lee Burney said there appeared to be confusion among the accused persons that the prosecution was relying on certain extracts of the alleged se­ditious publication.

He clarified that they would be relying on the article as a whole so that come trial time the assessors would be able to make proper in­ferences on whether the publica­tion is seditious or not.

Waqabaca’s lawyer, Aman Singh, was not present in court yesterday, however Waqabaca informed the court that his lawyer would object to the amended information.

Ravula’s lawyer Devanesh Shar­ma objected on three grounds.

He said if the prosecution want­ed to use the whole article then it should be read out when the charge is put to the accused per­sons.

Wesley and Arts’ lawyer Nicho­las Barnes indicated that he had only been served with the charge on Monday morning, however he commented that the charge was incomplete.

Mr Clarke said he was also served on Monday and sought time to pe­ruse the documents.

Justice Thushara Rajasinghe ad­vised all parties to maintain prop­er communication between them to prevent delays and confusion.

The defence lawyers were ad­vised to file and serve their sub­missions on or before February 22, 2018. Hearing on the matter will take place on March 1, 2018.

Bail was extended for all the ac­cused.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj

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