Crime & Court

Former SODELPA Member Baba Handed Suspended Sentence

Baba was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) with one count of making a false statement.
29 Feb 2020 11:24
Former SODELPA Member Baba Handed Suspended Sentence
Jale Baba is being carried to Court in Suva on February 28, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Former Social Democratic Liberal Party member, Jale Baba, was handed a sentence of 11 months imprisonment, suspended for three years.

Baba, 61, appeared before the Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili yesterday.

Baba was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) with one count of making a false statement.

Between August 1, 2018 and October 15, 2018, in Suva, Baba made false statements on social media by publishing falsified voter lists and other false information related to the voter lists on Facebook, which he knew to be false or had no reason to believe to be true.

Baba pleaded guilty to the offence on his own free will.

In the mitigation, Chief Magistrate Ratuvili noted that Baba had previously worked as a civil servant and had a long career predominantly in the forestry section.

He also highlighted that in 2000 and 2001, Baba was the campaign director for the Soqosoqo ni Duavata ni Lewe ni Vanua (SDL) Party.

Baba, in the 2014 and 2018 General Elections, was involved with the SODELPA awareness team.

Chief Magistrate Ratuvili also highlighted that because of his medical condition, Baba was totally dependent on friends and relatives for his daily care and maintenance.

He was remorseful of his actions and after being informed of his error, Baba took the posts down straight away and also made a public apology for the false posts that he had put up on social media.

Chief Magistrate Ratuvili while reading the mitigation said it was not Baba’s intention to mislead voters.

Chief Magistrate Ratuvili said Baba’s post had a global reach through his Facebook followers and would have the effect, whether he intended it or not.

He said the court was satisfied that the risks of reoffending were negligible therefore the court would promote the principle of rehabilitation and fully suspend the sentence.

Baba was given 28 days to appeal.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



Five Square


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Covid 19 - SPC
Total
Total
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper