NATION

Court Denies Hank Arts’ Bid To Travel

  An application for bail variation to travel abroad by Fiji Times Limited’s publisher, Hank Arts was denied by the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday. Arts had applied to be allowed
14 Oct 2016 11:00
Court Denies Hank  Arts’ Bid To Travel
Fiji Times Publisher Hank Arts outside court .Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.

 

An application for bail variation to travel abroad by Fiji Times Limited’s publisher, Hank Arts was denied by the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday. Arts had applied to be allowed to travel.

The reason why Arts wanted to travel to New Zealand from October 20 to October 30 is visit his grandchildren and for a medical review.

The second trip he had applied for was from February 15, 2017 to March 15, 2017 is to walk his stepdaughter down the aisle on her wedding day.

Magistrate Shageeth Somaratne based his decision for a number of reasons.

On the issue of an urgent medical review by Arts, Magistrate Somaratne said it was not necessary because he had delayed it since early September.

“I find the application for the second trip premature at this stage to consider as the State had already informed this court that they wanted to expedite this case and with the co-operation of the parties and the availability of dates in the High Court diary, in my view this case can be decided before that.

“This medical review was supposed to be in early September and due to the commitments of the applicant, it has been changed all the way to late October.

“This clearly shows that this medical review is not urgent and necessary at this moment, otherwise the applicant or his doctor would not have changed the date like this.”

Magistrate Somaratne said: “In my view it is important for the applicant to be present in Fiji at this stage to participate in the High Court proceedings and give proper instructions to his counsel.”

The state was represented by Yogesh Prasad and Arts was represented by Faizal Haniff.

Arts, editor-in-chief Fred Wesley, editor Nai Lalakai Anare Ravula, and a contributor to the Nai Lalakai Josaia Waqabaca are charged with inciting communal antagonism.  Nai Lalakai is the  Fiji Times iTaukei language weekly.

Magistrate Somaratne further stated that Arts and three others are charged with a serious offence and it is in the interest of all that the trial is heard without delay.

The case will be heard for the first time at the High Court in Suva today.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback: jessica.gounder@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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