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COURT:Defence Wants Documents Tested For Authenticity In Sedition Trial

Defence lawyers Aman Ravindra Singh and Sala Kunatuba in the Nadroga/Navosa sedition case yesterday filed for a Lobendahn Test for their clients. The Lobendahn Test aims to establish the authenticity
29 Sep 2017 11:14
COURT:Defence Wants Documents Tested For Authenticity In Sedition Trial
Accused persons from the Nadroga/ Navosa Sedition case with one of their lawyers Sala Kunatuba (right), outside Lautoka High Court on September 28, 2017. Photo: Kathrin Krishna

Defence lawyers Aman Ravindra Singh and Sala Kunatuba in the Nadroga/Navosa sedition case yesterday filed for a Lobendahn Test for their clients.

The Lobendahn Test aims to establish the authenticity of the documents because defence believes that the copies of documents used during caution interviews and presented as evidence are not original.

Mr Singh said there was a provision in the Criminal Procedure Act of 2009 which provided for a trial within a trial to take place when necessary to determine any issues within the course of a trial.

He said this would help both Defence and Prosecution determine a document presented was the correct copy of the original, true copy.

He said it was dangerous to use the photocopied documents as evidence which could be slipped into the trial without determining their origins.

He said his clients had a right and deserved a fair trial.

State Lawyer Lee Burney told the court that Mr Singh’s clients were not deprived of their rights to a fair trial in any way.

He added that the accused persons in their caution interviews had recognised their signatures on the Nadroga/Navosa Sovereign Christian State document.

He said that the court could rely on the photocopied documents as it was used widely in other courts around the world.

He added the original documents were never seized and prosecution was not in the position to present them in court.

The judge, Justice Sunil Sharma, will make his ruling on the submission today at 2: 30pm at the Lautoka High Court.

14 people from Nadroga are charged with two counts of sedition.

They appeared before Justice Sunil Sharma.

The accused are Ratu Inoke Tasere, Jimi Koroibete, Seru Kunalagi, Adi Cuvu Gavidi Atama, Ulaiasi Rabua Tuivono, Peniasi Naqau, Semi Tanikili, Ratu Osea Bolawaqatabu, Ratu Tevita Khaikhainabokolawale Makutu, Mosese Navaci, Eroni Rikoriko, Alifereti Nakuinivou, Alifereti Gonewai and Jorama Ratulevu.

Edited by  Karalaini Waqanidrola

Feedback:  kathrin.krishna@fijisun.com.fj

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