NEWS

Civil High Court Strikes Out Fiji Sun Defamation Case

The matter was called before Court Acting Master Vandhana Lal at the Civil High Court in Suva on August 15.
20 Aug 2019 13:19
Civil High Court Strikes Out Fiji Sun Defamation Case
Fiji Sun lawyer Emmanuel Narayan.

 

The Civil High Court has struck out a defamation case against the Sun (Fiji) News Limited.

This is in the case of the late general secretary for the Fijian Teachers Association (FTA) Maika Namudu, the plaintiff.

He had filed a defamation case against six defendants:

  • The late Gauna Halofaki,
  • The Fijian Teachers Association,
  • Former employees of the Fiji Sun: Aqela Susu and Litia Cava,
  • Fiji Sun Publisher/CEO Peter Lomas and,
  • Sun (Fiji) News Limited

The matter was called before Court Acting Master Vandhana Lal at the Civil High Court in Suva on August 15.

Lawyers Emmanuel Narayan appeared for Fiji Sun while Simione Valenitabua appeared for the first and second defendants and Fifita Fa appeared for the plaintiff.

The late Mr Namudu had claimed that there was an article published which was defamatory of him.

He had submitted that an article published in the newspaper was said to be carrying words and statements by the Mr Halofaki and the Association and was published by Ms Susu, Ms Cava, Mr Lomas and the Sun (Fiji) News Limited as defamatory.

On August 17, 2017, the court heard that Mr Halofaki was deceased and accordingly the FTA was no longer liable for his action and that the plaintiff had no locus standi to continue with the proceedings.

When the matter was called for hearing, Court Acting Master Lal said she was informed that Mr Namudu had passed away and a copy of the death certificate was submitted to the Court which confirmed that Mr Namudu died on December 27, 2018.

The counsels for the defendants had submitted that pursuant to Section 2 (1) of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Death and Interest) Act, the action failed and the matter should be struck out. Court Acting Master Lal said since the plaintiff was now deceased, the action cannot survive.

Accordingly, Court Acting Master Lal struck out the matter and said the parties were to bear own costs.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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