NATION

Bulitavu’s Lawyer Files Appeal

The defence lawyer for former Opposi­tion Member of Parliament Mosese Bulitavu has asked the High Court for a quick hearing of their appeal. Suva lawyer Barbara Malimali, who is rep­resenting
03 Jun 2018 12:16
Bulitavu’s Lawyer Files Appeal
Former SODELPA MP Mosese Bulitavu outside the courthouse in Suva on June 1, 2018. Photo: Fonua Talei

The defence lawyer for former Opposi­tion Member of Parliament Mosese Bulitavu has asked the High Court for a quick hearing of their appeal.

Suva lawyer Barbara Malimali, who is rep­resenting Bulitavu for his appeal against sentence and conviction, told Justice Vin­sent Perera that Bulitavu’s defence team an­ticipated that the writ of this year’s election would be issued in mid-July to mid-August.

She told Justice Perera that Bulitavu planned to contest this year’s election once the judge overturned the Magistrate’s Court’s conviction and sentence against her client.

Ms Malimali has advanced 18 grounds of appeal.

Justice Perera told her that they were awaiting the Magistrate’s Court record be­fore any issues could be heard.

Ms Malimali said she did not base her sub­missions on the court record.

Lawyer Sadaf Shameem from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions sought time to obtain copies of the court record be­fore the State made its submissions.

Justice Perera told Ms Malimali that it was up to her if she wanted to file her sub­missions before they received copies of the Magistrate’s Court record.

In her petition of appeal, Ms Malimali sub­mitted that the learned magistrate erred in law when she failed to apply the Josaia Waqabaca elements of the offence of sedi­tion to Bulitavu’s case.

She also stated that the learned magistrate erred in law when she failed to consider that the Government of Fiji as established by law in August 2009 was as per Executive Authority of Fiji Decree 2009.

Bulitavu’s co-accused Jagath Karunaratne, 50, also appeared before Justice Perera, rep­resented by Suva lawyer Filimoni Vosarogo.

Karunaratne has advanced seven grounds of appeal against his sentence and convic­tion.

Mr Vosarogo told Justice Perera that he had been instructed to file Karunaratne’s application for bail pending appeal.

The case has been adjourned to June 13, 2018. Bulitavu and Karunaratne are serving prison sentences. Bulitavu was sentenced to two years five months and 13 days in jail while Karunaratne was sentenced to two years five months and 16 days imprison­ment.

They were sentenced on April 30, 2018 by Magistrate Deepika Prakash.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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