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Accused Agreed to Sign Document, says Witness

The accused in the Nadroga/Navosa sedition case had agreed to sign the Sovereign Christian State document, the court was told yesterday. The statement was made by the third State witness,
05 Oct 2017 18:29
Accused Agreed to Sign Document, says Witness

The accused in the Nadroga/Navosa sedition case had agreed to sign the Sovereign Christian State document, the court was told yesterday.

The statement was made by the third State witness, detective Inoke Tui, the investigating officer who interviewed some of the accused.

He told the court that the third accused Seru Kunalagi, sixth accused Peniasi Naqau and 13th accused Alifereti Gonewai in their caution interviews said, they had agreed and pointed out their signatures on the document.

He also said that the accused had also taken part in oath taking and were appointed ministers by the author of the document Mereoni Kirwin.

He added that the three accused signed the documents because they wanted the return of iTaukei natural resources, fishing rights and land rights to the indigenous people.

He said the third accused, Kunalagi, in his caution interview, said that by signing the document he wanted the return of the old ancestral traditional setup established in the province of Nadroga/Navosa.

He also stated that all the accused people had their meeting at Cuvu Village in Sigatoka before they took the oaths.

In cross examination, lawyer Filimoni Vosarogo, representing the sixth accused, Peniasi Naqau, said that the Police officer during the caution interview had referred to the Nadroga/Navosa Christian state document.

He said the first page of the document stated page one of 11 but the copy presented in court only had nine pages. He stated that two pages were missing.

He said the missing pages could create curiosity in the trial.

Defence Lawyer Aman Ravindra Singh said that the missing pages created doubt about the authenticity of the document.

He said the document was unacceptable to be used as evidence as there were doubts surrounding the originality of the copy.

Mr Singh also said that his clients Alivereti Gonewai and Peniasi Naqau had also stated in their caution interview that they had not seen the Nadroga/ Navosa Sovereign Christian State document before but found out about it only when they were shown it during the interview.

State Lawyer Lee Burney said that the Nadroga/ Navosa Sovereign Christian State document had two pages, one page for attendance and another page for signatures.

He said the claims made by the Defence were nonsense.

Fourteen people are charged with two counts of sedition.

Appearing before Justice Sunil Sharma were Ratu Inoke Tasere, Jimi Koroibete, Seru Kunalagi , Adi Cuvu Gavidi Atama, Ulaiyasi Rabua Tuivono, Peniasi Naqau, Semi Tanikili, Ratu Osea Bolawaqatabu, Ratu Tevita Khaikhainabokolawale Makutu, Mosese Navaci, Eroni Rikoriko, Alifereti Nakuinivou, Alifereti Gonewai and Jorama Ratulevu.

The trial continues today.

Edited by Mohammed Ali

Feedback:  kathrin.krishna@fijisun.com.fj



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