Fiji Times amended sedition charge ruling on July 27 The ruling on amended sedition charge for Fiji Times Ltd, publisher Hank Arts, Editor-in-Chief Fred Wesley, Editor for Nai Lalakai Anare
11 Jul 2017 11:00

Fiji Times amended sedition charge ruling on July 27

The ruling on amended sedition charge for Fiji Times Ltd, publisher Hank Arts, Editor-in-Chief Fred Wesley, Editor for Nai Lalakai Anare Ravulo, and contributor to Nai Lalakai Josaia Waqabaca, has been set for July 27.

The hearing was heard yesterday before Justice Thushara Rajasinghe at the High Court in Suva. Ravulo is represented by Devanesh Sharma, Waqabaca is represented by Aman Ravindra Singh, Wesley, Arts, and the Fiji Times Ltd are represented by Faizal Haniff.

State prosecutor Yogesh Prasad said they would rely on their submissions and file relevant case authorities in relation to the charge to assist the court.

For now, he said the State would rely on information they have filed and they maintained that the charge was not defective.

The argument that the defence lawyers Mr Sharma and Mr Haniff had was that they believed that the State had made one sedition charge into multiple charges and held four people accountable for it.

They also argued that Waqabaca should be solely responsible for the article published because he was the writer whereas the Fiji Times newspaper was just a publication and should not be held liable. Ravulo, Wesley, Arts and the Fiji Times Ltd were initially charged with a count of inciting communal antagonism after which they were charged with sedition under different sections of the Crimes Decree.

It is alleged that Waqabaca, Ravula, Wesley, Arts and Fiji Times Ltd made, or caused to be published, a statement in the Nai Lalakai newspaper which was likely to incite dislike, antagonism or hatred of the Muslim community. Bail has been extended for all the accused. ASHNA KUMAR

Edited by Naisa Koroi


Alleged spear hurling husband hospitalised

The Police continue to investigate a case of breach of the Domestic Violence Restraining Order when the suspect had allegedly injured his wife with a hunting spear in the weekend. Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirmed that Police had responded to a case of breach of the DVRO.

When Police arrived, she said the suspect resisted arrest and threw a spear at the officers damaging the tyre of their vehicle. She said he was overpowered by the officers. Police are conducting an investigation with regard to the attack on the woman, damaging property and resisting arrest.

Both the victim and the suspect are admitted in the Labasa Hospital.


Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola


Rapist, 73, slapped with 8 years in jail

A 73-year-old Ba widower who tied a rope around a 23-year-old woman’s waist and dragged her through his house before raping her was jailed for eight years yesterday.

High Court Judge Aruna Aluthge, while jailing Ami Chand of Veisaru, said he had threatened to strangle the victim if she told anyone and had one of his ‘agents’ make her sign an affidavit that the incident did not take place.

The court heard that Chand was living at Veisaru when his brother brought the victim, to stay in an adjacent house next to him. He approached the victim, who was making roti and started fondling her breast.

He then tied a rope around her waist and dragged her to the room before raping her.

When the victim’s husband returned, she told him what had happened and the matter was reported to the Police after which the victim’s family then moved out.

Justice Aluthge said an aggravating fact was the 40-year age difference between the two and the fact that he threatened to strangle her and got her to sign the affidavit.

“You used violence to commit this offence,” Justice Aluthge said.

“It’s sad you have to be sent to prison in the twilight years of your life,” the judge said.

He was also handed a non-parole period of five years.


Edited by Naisa Koroi


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