Crime & Court

Keresi Maya Judgement Set For March

FRU Board and tribunal to decide on disciplinary matters.
21 Jan 2021 10:20
Keresi Maya Judgement Set For March
Naitasiri Under-19 rugby lock Keresi Maya, (right), outside the High Court in Suva during an earlier appearance. Photo: Ashna Kumar

The six-year rugby suspension for Naitasiri U-19 rugby lock Keresi Maya and the likely outcome of his case in the Magistrates Court does not infringe on his constitutional rights.

The submission was made by State lawyer Yogesh Prasad yesterday during the stay application hearing before High Court judge Justice Thushara Rajasinghe.

Mr Prasad said the issue in contention was whether the Fiji Rugby Union Tribunal was a competent authority as opposed to the Magistrates Court.

He said the Magistrates Court is a competent jurisdiction and a charge of assault causing actual bodily harm carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment to deter people from violence.

Justice Rajasinghe raised the issue about Maya’s rights in the event he is found guilty in Magistrates Court as his lawyer Sevuloni Valenitabua had stated.

In response Mr Prasad said it would bring closure to the rugby official who was assaulted.

The submission was interrupted by the judge who said the court only deals with matters of the law.

Mr Valenitabua argued that FRU was established under the Charitable Trusts Act which is enacted by Parliament and indirectly delegates authority to the

FRU Board and tribunal to decide on disciplinary matters.

He submitted that if this was not the case then it would invalidate the FRU tribunal.

The Court heard that Maya has already been penalised under a written law and would be convicted in the Magistrates Court if the case continues, meaning he would be punished twice for the same offence.

Justice Rajasinghe raised a point whether the same applies to people who are charged with fraud related offences and lose their employment as a result.

The case has been adjourned to March 18 for judgment.

Maya is currently on bail.


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