NATION

Waqabaca Ready to Take Plea in Fiji Times Case

Nai Lalakai article writer Josaia Waqabaca is ready to take his plea and has not challenged the ammended charge against them. The hearing date has been set for May 18,
10 May 2017 12:39
Waqabaca Ready to Take Plea in Fiji Times Case
Court

Nai Lalakai article writer Josaia Waqabaca is ready to take his plea and has not challenged the ammended charge against them.

The hearing date has been set for May 18, in the Fiji Times case to hear the dispute on the amended charge.

Fiji Times Limited, Fiji Times Publisher Hank Arts, Editor-in-chief Fred Wesley, Editor Nai Lalakai Anare Ravula, and article writer to the Nai Lalakai Josaia Waqabaca are all charged with one count each of sedition.

They were previously charged with inciting communal antagonism which stemmed from an article that was published in the Nai Lalakai on April 27, 2016.

Nai Lalakai is an iTaukei language edition published weekly by the Fiji Times.

Ravula’s lawyer, Nancy Choo, is disputing the amended charge and information and so are Fiji Times Limited, Arts and Wesley’s lawyer, Faizal Haniff.

Waqabaca’s lawyer, Aman Ravindra-Singh, told the court that he was not challenging the charge and that his client was ready to take his plea.

It is alleged that Waqabaca between April 20 and April 27, 2016, at Suva, wrote and submitted an article for publication in the Nai Lalakai and in the article made a statement with a seditious intention to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different classes of the population of Fiji.

It is alleged that Ravula on April 27, 2016, in his capacity as editor of the Nai Lalakai newspaper did aid and abet Arts to publish an article which contained a statement which was a seditious publication.

It is alleged that Wesley on April 27, 2016, in his capacity as the editor-in-chief of the Nai Lalakai newspaper did aid and abet Arts to publish an article which contained a statement which was a seditious publication.

It is alleged that Arts on April 27, 2016 in his capacity as the publisher of the Nai Lalakai newspaper published an article which contained a statement which was a seditious publication.

It is alleged that Fiji Times Limited on April 27, 2016, printed the Nai Lalakai newspaper which contained an article which contained a statement which was a seditious publication.

The state prosecution were represented by Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions, Lee Burney and Yogesh Prasad.

The content read: “Ko ira na Musulomani era sega ni taukei kei Viti, sai ira nai lawalawa oqo era a curu botea na vanua eso ka dua vei ira ko Bangladesh mai Idia, kara vei vakamatei kina, kucuvi na nodra yalewa, ra vakararawataki na gone me yacova sara nira sa lewa ka sa nodra tu edaidai”

(Translated as “Muslims are not the indigenous of this country. These are people that have invaded other nations, for example, Bangladesh in India, where they killed, raped and abused their women and children. Today they have gone to the extent of having a part in the running of the country”).

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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