NEWS

Application Of Transfer Filed By Prosecution

Freesoul Real Estate Development (Fiji) PTE Limited has been found guilty and convicted for two counts of undertaking unauthorised developments.
22 Sep 2021 12:03
Application Of Transfer Filed By Prosecution
State prosecutor from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Meli Vosawale, outside Court on September 21, 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Director of Public Prosecutions has made an application for the sentencing of Freesoul Real Estate Development (Fiji) PTE Limited to be heard at the High Court.

State prosecutor from the Office of the DPP, Meli Vosawale yesterday told the court that the State was seeking the matter to be transferred to the High Court for sentencing following the change in position to seek a fine.

Freesoul Real Estate Development (Fiji) PTE Limited has been found guilty and convicted for two counts of undertaking unauthorised developments.

Freesoul is convicted for undertaking unauthorised developments, between June 8, 2017, and December 6, 2018, at Malolo Island in Nadi. Freesoul Real Estate Development (Fiji) PTE Limited carried out development activity on the dry land at Wacia and the foreshore facing Wacia and on the dry land at Qalilawa and the foreshore facing Qalilawa which is subject to the Environmental Impact Assessment process without an approved Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Report.

Mr Vosawale told the court that the State was seeking a fine between $450,000 and $750,000 in the light of the estimates submitted to the court.

He said the level of harm posed by the digging of the channel and cleaning of the mangroves on the dry land and foreshores at Malolo, in Nadi, was significant and harmful to the environment.

He further told the court that the Magistrates Court authority, as per the Sentencing and Penalties Act pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Act, was of a fine up to $15,000, however, the State was seeking a fine of more than $450,000 which was out of the Magistrates Court authority.

Defence lawyer David Toganivalu told the court that the application was not fair to them as the trial was heard before the Magistrates Court and the case was up at the stage of hearing for the sentencing.

He further told the court that there was no indication from the State from the start of the matter to be heard at the High Court.

Magistrate Seini Puamau has given time until this Friday to both Defence and the State to simultaneously file their submissions on the application of transfer.

The matter will be called for hearing on September 29.

Meanwhile, Ratu Jone Jovesa and Woody Jack, through their lawyers Haniff Tuitoga wrote a letter to the Court stating they were aggrieved parties in the case seeking compensation for damages, however, no reasons for aggrieving was stated in the letter.

Haniff Tuitoga Lawyers have been given seven days to file their motion and affidavit and the matter will be called for mention on September 29.

Feedbackashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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