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By FONUA TALEI The Suva High Court has found Fiji Times Limited guilty of contempt of court,  and questioned systems in place at the daily newspaper. Former publisher Brian O’Flaherty,
03 Oct 2012 12:36

By FONUA TALEI

The Suva High Court has found Fiji Times Limited guilty of contempt of court,  and questioned systems in place at the daily newspaper.
Former publisher Brian O’Flaherty, and current editor Fred Wesley, were also found guilty by the court.
QC Julian Miles appeared for Fiji Times Ltd while Acting Solicitor General Sharvada Sharma appeared on behalf of the Attorney-General.
The case against Fiji Times Ltd is in relation to an article that was published in the sports pages quoting Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) secretary Tai Nicholas on Fiji’s judiciary. In delivering his ruling, Justice William Calanchini said affidavits sworn by Wesley claimed that he was not at work the day before the article was published stating that even if he was at work he was not likely to have read the story.
Justice Calanchini said the publisher and the editor must bear the responsibility for the publication of the article.
He said Wesley’s affidavit claimed to explain the system Fiji Times had in place. He said from the two reporters’ affidavits it was apparent that the system in place was ineffective, unsupervised, or not sufficiently monitored.
Furthermore, an article published by the Fiji Times on Saturday, June 30 titled ‘Oceania soccer boss issues apology’ was also mentioned in court.
The article had contents of the initial contempt case against the newspaper which was already before the court.
The article had the OFC boss, David Chung, offering his apology to the Fijian Government for comments made by OFC secretary general, Nicholas.
A photo published alongside the article, showed the OFC making a $25,000 donation to the Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Appeal Fund.
The Fiji Times lawyers have been advised by Justice Calanchini to make submissions on why the June 30 material should not be considered as aggravating factors of a grave nature.
Mitigation submissions are yet to be made.




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