NEWS

FBC Sue Labour Party

Media company Fiji Broadcasting Corporation and its chief executive officer Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum have taken Fiji Labour Party to court over a statement the political party allegedly released on social media
28 Aug 2017 14:22
FBC Sue Labour Party

Media company Fiji Broadcasting Corporation and its chief executive officer Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum have taken Fiji Labour Party to court over a statement the political party allegedly released on social media about the national broadcasting station.

The statement was put up on a Facebook page called Fiji Labour Party which stated that the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation has received a 400 per cent increase in grant and that this was an abuse of taxpayers’ funds.

It also claimed that the media organisation was unable to service its loan of around $21 million with the Fiji Development Bank and that other banks have refused to refinance the loan.

The statement further alleged, without any proof that Mr Sayed-Khaiyum then approached Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum to “bail him out of this mess”.

It further stated, again without any proof, that equipment for the media company was bought second hand from a close associate of Mr Sayed-Khaiyum.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday said such comments and outright untruths, have been an insult to everyone who has worked very hard at the company, especially in the last ten years.

He said the board gave the directive to pursue this legal action because enough was enough.

He concluded that a number of organisations and individuals including the Fiji Sun have been targets of defamation on social media and this sort of behaviour was not expected of a political party.

Documents filed in court state, that the posting was designed to cause damage to the company and its chief executive officer. It was also designed to cause loss of business and revenue; stress, trauma and anxiety.

It has been almost 10 months since the posting was made and it continues to be on the political party’s page causing further reputational damage to the plaintiffs.

It further states that the defendant Fiji Labour Party did not confirm the accuracy of various assertions made in the post and that the political party continues to disseminate the statement widely.

The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation and its chief executive officer are seeking general damages, special damages and punitive damages together with a permanent injunction restraining the political party and or its agents from further posting, circulating, distributing the statements containing the libel or anything similar.

Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry refused to comment on the matter yesterday saying that it was before the Court and he would not comment on it.

A hearing date for the matter is yet to be set.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola
Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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