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Arts and Wesley have no say in the contents of Nai Lalakai

May 9, 2018 7:30 pm

The fourth defence witness in the Fiji Times sedition trial told the Suva High Court that Publisher Hank Arts and Editor-in-Chief Fred Wesley have no say in the editorial contents of Nai Lalakai.

Acting Nai Lalakai Editor Unaisi Ratubalavu is the fourth defence witness for Wesley.

While giving evidence in court, Ratubalavu revealed that Nai Lalakai Editor Anare Ravula was suspended from his position in August, 2016.

During the cross examination, Ravula’s lawyer Devanesh Sharma asked her if they were provided reasons on Ravula’s suspension.

Ratubalavu told the court they weren’t informed on anything about Ravula’s suspension however they were told to keep publishing the Nai Lalakai.

Sharma than queried the evidence given by the third witness – layout artist Viliame Ravai as Ratubalavu told the court that Ravula was suspended.

When questioned by Josaia Waqabaca’s lawyer, Aman Singh, on whether Waqabaca is a frequent contributor to the Letters to the Editor in the Nai Lalakai, Ratubalavu replied, “Yes”.

Ratubalavu then informed the court they had also received some of Waqabaca’s letters which sometimes were sensitive.

She said she would delete or edit some paragraphs while going through the letters before it’s published.

Meanwhile, earlier in the afternoon Fiji Times Systems and Network Administrator Neeraj Maharaj said that he was given orders by his Manager to get screenshot of the documents on Ravula’s computer.

When being cross examined by Anare Ravula’s lawyer Devanesh Sharma, Maharaj revealed that he had permission from Ravula to access his computer but there was no written permission as it was only done verbally.

Sharma then asked Maharaj if Ravula was with him when he accessed his computer, Maharaj said no.

He then asked Maharaj that if he would agree that Ravula was not the last one to work on the document, Maharaj replied yes.

Meanwhile, Fiji Times Limited publisher Hank Arts, like Waqabaca and Ravula, has chosen to remain silent.

Fiji Times Limited publisher Hank Arts and writer Josaia Waqabaca have pleaded not guilty to sedition, while Fred Wesley and Anare Ravula have pleaded not guilty to aiding and abetting sedition.

It is alleged that the Fiji Times printed the Nai Lalakai newspaper which contained an article which had content with seditious intention to promote feelings of ill will and hostility amongst the population of Fiji, particularly Muslims and Non-Muslims.

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