Judiciary

State given time to file disclosures in Fiji Times case

The case of incitement against The Fiji Times and senior staff  was called for mention at the Suva High Court before Justice Priyantha Fernando today. It is alleged that Josaia Waqabaca, Anare Ravula, Fred Wesley, Hank Arts, and the Fiji Times Ltd made, or caused to be published, a statement in the iTaukei language in […]

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November 30, 2016 11:30 am

The case of incitement against The Fiji Times and senior staff  was called for mention at the Suva High Court before Justice Priyantha Fernando today.

It is alleged that Josaia Waqabaca, Anare Ravula, Fred Wesley, Hank Arts, and the Fiji Times Ltd made, or caused to be published, a statement in the iTaukei language in Nai Lalakai newspaper that is likely to incite dislike, hatred, or antagonism of the Muslim community.

The State has been given time to file their Voir Dire disclosures and the matter will be called again on 30 January 2017.

The Fiji Times Publisher Hank Arts also filed a bail variation application in Court this morning and the State has been given time to 8 December 2016 to file its response.

A hearing date on the bail application will be decided on 8 December 2016. Bail has been extended to all accused persons.

Fiji Times and senior staff granted bail

August 17 – Four people and the Fiji Times Ltd accused of inciting communal antagonism, have been given 14 days to go through disclosures before their next hearing.

The accused persons, Josaia Waqabaca, Fred Wesley, Anare Ravula, Hank Arts and the Fiji Times Ltd appeared at the Suva Magistrates’ Court before Magistrate Shageeth Somaratne this afternoon.

The State sought time to provide full disclosures and the same was granted.

All accused persons have been granted thousand dollars bail each under strict conditions.

They are to surrender their travel documents to the court.

Magistrate Somaratne ordered that Josaia Waqabaca get a counsel representative by the next hearing.

The matter will be heard again on August 31, this year.

The maximum penalty for the charge is ten years imprisonment.

DPP charges Fiji Times with inciting communal antagonism

August 17 – The Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Christopher Pryde, has sanctioned charges of inciting communal antagonism against The Fiji Times Ltd.

A reader reading the Fiji Times. (Motibhai Group/Facebook)
A man reading the Fiji Times newspaper. (Motibhai Group/Facebook)

Charges will be laid against the following under section 65 (2) (a) (i) and section 53 (1) of the Crimes Decree.

  • Josaia Waqabaca – Contributor
  • Anare Ravula – Nai Lalakai editor
  • Fred Wesley – Fiji Times editor-in-chief
  • Hank Arts – General manager and Publisher
  • and the Fiji Times Ltd

This is in relation to an article published by the Fiji Times in its supplemental iTaukei language newspaper Nai Lalakai on 27 April 2016.

A statement from the Office of the DPP said it is alleged that Josaia Waqabaca, Anare Ravula, Fred Wesley, Hank Arts, and the Fiji Times Ltd made, or caused to be published, a statement in the iTaukei language Nai Lalakai newspaper that is likely to incite dislike, hatred, or antagonism of the Muslim community.

The statement reads:

“Ko ira na Musulomani era sega ni taukei kei Viti, sai ira nai lawalawa oqo era a curu botea na vanua eso ka dua vei ira ko Bangladesh mai Idia, kara vei vakamatei kina, kucuvi na nodra yalewa, ra vakararawataki na gone me yacova sara nira sa lewa ka sa nodra tu edaidai.”

English translation:

“Muslims are not the indigenous of this country. These are people that have invaded other nations, for example, Bangladesh in India, where they killed, raped and abused their women and children. Today they have gone to the extent of having a part in the running of the country.”

The matter will be called at the Suva Magistrates Court at 3:30pm this afternoon.

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