Crime & Court

Tikoca To Pay A-G $80,000 In Defamation Case

Tikoca was sued by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum for making comments during an interview with a Sydney community radio station in late January or mid-February and the same interview was posted on a Facebook page named “Fiji Exposed Forum”.
26 Feb 2021 09:06
Tikoca To Pay A-G $80,000 In Defamation Case
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum outside Parliament and Former SODELPA Member of Parliament, Ratu Isoa Delamisi Tikoca. Photos: Ronald Kumar

Former SODELPA Member of Parliament, Ratu Isoa Delamisi Tikoca has been ordered to pay $80,000 to the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Tikoca was sued by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum for making comments during an interview with a Sydney community radio station in late January or mid-February and the same interview was posted on a Facebook page named “Fiji Exposed Forum”.

Counsels for Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, Devanesh Sharma and Gul Fatima from R Patel Lawyers, filed a writ of summons coupled with a statement of claim against Tikoca and sought for the following reliefs:

  • Damages for libel and slander;
  • Punitive, exemplary and aggravated damages;
  • An order that Tikoca within seven days render in writing a public retraction and apology in both iTaukei and English languages in prominent print to Mr Sayed-Khaiyum to be published in a daily newspaper circulating in Fiji;
  • Pre-judgment and post-judgment on any award of damages;
  • Costs of this action on a substantial-indemnity basis plus taxes; and
  • Such further and other relief as this court may deem just.

Justice Vishwa Datt Sharma said the words complained of were uttered with a deliberate and calculated view to tarnish the reputation of Mr Sayed-Khaiyum and that there was no opportunity to vindicate Mr Sayed-Khaiyum’s reputation and the damage was forever.

He said the amount awarded was sufficient both in terms of compensatory and punitive damages and costs.

Orders of the Court:

  • Tikoca was ordered to pay Mr Sayed-Khaiyum a sum of $80,000 as compensatory and punitive damages within a time frame of 30 days from the date of the judgment;
  • Tikoca was ordered to make a public apology in print to Mr Sayed-Khaiyum to be published in Fijian daily news-papers circulating in Fiji within 14 days’ from the date of this judgment, in both English and iTaukei languages;
  • Mr Sayed-Khaiyum is entitled to six per cent interest on the sum of compensatory and punitive damages awarded from March 21, 2019, to the date of this judgement;
  • Tikoca was ordered to pay Mr Sayed-Khaiyum a sum of $5000 as summarily assessed costs of this action within 30 days’ time frame from the date of this judgment.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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