NATION

Case Discontinuance For Korean Nationals

A notice of discontinuance of the case involving the six South Korean nationals who were taken into Police custody was granted by the High Court in Lautoka yesterday. Justice Anare
18 Aug 2018 10:24
Case Discontinuance For Korean Nationals
Lawyer Ronald Gordon represented the South Korean nationals at the High Court in Lautoka on August 17, 2018. Photo: Yogesh Chandra

A notice of discontinuance of the case involving the six South Korean nationals who were taken into Police custody was granted by the High Court in Lautoka yesterday.

Justice Anare Tuilevuka made the decision after the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Ronald Gordon, said that there was no basis left to charge the six because they had already been released on Thursday night.

Mr Gordon said that it was about the liberty of the people as well.

“Liberty of the people is of utmost priority and you, as the judge, can exercise it,” he said.

Preetika Prasad represented the Director of Immigration and Commissioner of Police and the Commissioner of Fiji Correctional Service.

A short break was taken to liaise with the Attorney-General’s Chambers after Mr Gordon requested that the case be discontinued.

Mr Gordon said that their argument had been that whoever had the persons detained had to come out and explain the reasons for the detention.

“This application is very specific. It only allows the court to demand that whoever had a person in custody produce that person and explain the reasons for detaining,” Mr Gordon said.

All six South Korean nationals were taken into custody by Fijian Police.

Shin Ok Joo, Beomseop Shin and Sung Jin were taken into custody after Police raided Grace Road properties on Tuesday while Byeongjoon Lee, Chul Na and a woman Jin Sook Yoon were turned in by employees of Grace Road Group.

There are allegations of slavery against Grace Road founder, Reverend Shin Ok Joo. She was arrested in Korea the previous week. Grace Road operates a range of businesses here. It has issued statements denying the allegations against its founder.

The six are believed to be shareholders in the Grace Road Group of Companies.

“As far as the Attorney-General’s Chambers has told us today – there were no orders,” Mr Gordon said.

“They are no longer in detention therefore there is no need for the application to continue,” he said.

Both sides confirmed that the six had actually been released. The six Korean nationals are now free to conduct their normal businesses. Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback:  yogesh.chandra@fijisun.com.fj



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