Crime & Court

Player Keresi Maya’s Lawyer Given Time to Prepare Reasons, Case Adjourned to Feb 4

Maya claims that the proper processes were not followed by the union when they ruled a six year ban against him from all levels of rugby.
27 Jan 2021 09:36
Player Keresi Maya’s Lawyer Given Time to Prepare Reasons, Case Adjourned to Feb 4
Naitasiri Under-19 rugby lock Keresi Maya, (right), outside the High Court in Suva during an earlier appearance. Photo: Ashna Kumar

Suspended rugby player, Keresi Maya’s lawyer has been given seven days to file and serve statements to the Civil High Court in Suva.

This is in the case of Under 19 Naitasiri player against the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU).

Maya claims that the proper processes were not followed by the union when they ruled a six year ban against him from all levels of rugby.

The case was called before Justice Deepthi Amaratunga yesterday for hearing on the union’s application to strike out the matter.

FRU legal officer, Vishal Anand argued that the application should be struck out because it failed to disclose any reasonable cause of action before the court.

Mr Anand added that Maya had fallen short of addressing a cause of action in his summons and did not dispute punching the referee during the match.

He told the court that FRU had video proof of the rugby match where Maya had punched the referee without any reason.

He also added that Maya’s actions were vicious and the incident had happened during the match which was later abandoned as the referee could not continue.

He argued that the court should strike out the application on the grounds of abuse of the court’s processes by Maya.

He also argued the act of foul play on the referee had been provided in the Terms of Participation of the Competition and the appeal process had never been utilised by Maya at the FRU Tribunal.

Defence laywer, Simione Valenitabua argued that according to the Terms of Participation of the Competition, the tournament director needed to sanction Maya first before they could utilise the appeal’s process before the independent judicial officer sanctioned by World Rugby.

He added that, in this instance, the judicial officer and the tribunal had decided on the first instance to ban Maya.

He also told the court that because of the cases before the courts, Maya’s Australian Rugby League contract with an NRL club was in “limbo”.

Mr Valenitabua argued that his client had reasons for his actions, and this was a matter of Maya blacking out during the game.

Justice Amaratunga has ordered $300 as costs in favour of FRU to be paid within seven days.

The case was adjourned to February 4, for continuation of the hearing.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj


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