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Ruling On Interview In Sedition Case Today

A ruling on whether the caution interview of 16 Nadroga sedition accused will be admissible as evidence is expected to be delivered today by Justice Paul Madigan. The 16 appeared at
14 Oct 2015 10:48
Ruling On Interview In Sedition Case Today
Some of the Naroga sedition charged at the High Court in Lautoka yesterday. Photo: Salote Qalubau

A ruling on whether the caution interview of 16 Nadroga sedition accused will be admissible as evidence is expected to be delivered today by Justice Paul Madigan.

The 16 appeared at the High Court of Lautoka yesterday for a trial within a trial hearing.

Lawyer Aman Ravindra Singh, representing 15 of the accused, told the court that his clients’ response to the interview was not obtained voluntarily.

While Adi Cuvu Gavidi Atama said she would be represented by lawyer Filimoni Vosarogo.

Mr Singh requested for the hearing to be adjourned because he did not have time to consult with his clients privately since an officer of the Naboro Corrections facility was present during the interview.

Mr Singh also raised concerns of disclosures not being provided by state.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions lawyer,  Semi Babitu said the State had provided Mr Singh with disclosures and confirmed  he did not receive any phone calls from Mr Singh regarding clarification on the missing disclosures.

Mr Singh maintained that he was not provided sufficient time for private consultations with his clients and that he was merely stating his difficulties.

Justice Madigan advised Mr Singh to file an affidavit regarding his difficulties.

The two police officers who had interviewed five of the accused then gave evidence.

Constable Inoke Vuki said he had signed the interview notes of all five accused despite not being present for half an hour during the interview.

He admitted he was engaged in driving activities and had signed the documents at the end of the interview.

Mr Singh said in terms of evidence his five clients had opted to remain silent.

Justice Madigan will give his ruling after more oral submissions from Mr Singh and Mr Babitu today.

The group is charged with one count of sedition contrary to section 67 (1) (a) and inciting communal antagonism contrary to section 65 (2) (a) of the Crimes Decree 2009.

16 accused
– Ratu Inoke Tasere, Jimi Koroibere, Seru Kunalagi, Adi Cuvu Gavidi Atama, Ulaiasi Rabua Tuivono, Peniasi Naqau, Semi Tanikili, Ratu Osea Bolawaqatabu, Ratu Tevita Makutu, Mosese Navaci, Eroni Rikoriko, Alifereti Nakunivou, Alifereti Gonewai, Raicula Rikovou, Adi Vasemaca Veikunekibulu and Jorama Ratulevu.

 

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