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What Happened In Court Yesterday

10am session The petitioners’ lawyer, Mr Vosarogo, highlighted in court that they would call in eight witnesses for the allegations made in the matter. He had named Sitiveni Rabuka as
21 Dec 2018 10:00
What Happened In Court Yesterday
Lawyer Davanesh Sharma (left) with his associate lawyer, Sharone Deo outside High Court on December 20, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

10am session

The petitioners’ lawyer, Mr Vosarogo, highlighted in court that they would call in eight witnesses for the allegations made in the matter.

He had named Sitiveni Rabuka as one of the primary witness from paragraph one to four in the petition, Rosarine Lagi who was also a candidate in the 2018 election, Seni Nabou who allegedon the corrupt and illegal practice, Subrail Narayan
and Kamal Iyer, Adi Litia Qionibaravi who is also a Member of Parliament, Emele Duituturaga, Asivarosi Rabu- ka and Merewalesi Vitukawalu who were the agents at the count centre for SODELPA.

The respondent lawyers had strongly opposed for the petitioners to be given leeway to call eight witnesses for oral evidence.

2.30pm session:

Justice Wati and Justice Kumar had ruled that the court would allow only two witnesses out of the eight to give oral evidence in court.

Justice Kumar highlighted the reasons for not allowing the other six witnesses to give oral evidence and said that in relation to the certain allegations mentioned in the petition, the facts had been admitted by the respondents and there was no need for them to be called.

In relation to Rosarine Lagi giving her evidence, Justice Kumar said the evidence would be prejudice towards the defendants and refused her to give evidence and that she was not a co-petitioner.

For Subrail Narayan and Kamal Iyer, Justice Kumar said the two were campaign administrator and candidate respectively and were not independent witnesses.

The court had allowed Asivorosi Rabuka and Emele Duituturaga to be called as witnesses because the allegation by the petitioners and the answers given by the respondents were not the same and on that basis they would be called as witnesses.

Mr Vosarogo had sought for the matter to be stood down because he had to take instructions from his clients as they were denied to call the other six witnesses.

Devanesh Sharma

After consulting with his client, Mr Vosarogo informed the court that he was instructed to ask the court for the petition to be withdrawn with the leave of court on the grounds that the petitioners would be with- out the benefit of witnesses that the court had ruled against earlier in the day.
All three respondent lawyers did not object to the application for the petition to be with- drawn. However, they sought costs in the petition filed by Mr Rabuka and Mr Prasad. The court granted the leave and allowed the withdrawal of the petition and struck out the matter.
The court told the petitioners to pay all the FijiFirst Members of Parliament, Mr Saneem and Mr Koya assessed cost in the sum of $14,500.

5.15pm session:

Mr Kumar’s lawyer Mr Uludole told the court that his client wished to withdraw the petition.

The lawyers of the respondents did not object to the application and did not seek costs.

Mr Dakuvula told the court that he did not wish to stand alone with a petition case and sought leave from court to withdraw the petition.

The court granted leave to both the petition cases and approved the withdrawals and struck out the matter.

The respondents in each respective matter had given their consent for the matter to be withdrawn and did not seek costs.
Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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