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Bulitavu and Karunaratne's case begins anew

July 18, 2017 1:19 am

Opposition Member of Parliament Mosese Bulitavu and former businessman Jagath Karunaratne’s retrial commenced in the Suva Magistrates Court this morning.

Karunaratne and Bulitavu are charged in relation to allegedly writing seditious comments in public places five years ago.

They’re alleged to have written on signboards between Nausori and Suva with the seditious intention of bringing hatred or contempt for or to execute disaffection against the government in 2011.

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The trial initially started before Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili last year however Magistrate Ratuvili recused himself after a witness mentioned Late Reverend Manasa Lasaro’s name.

Magistrate Ratuvili declared his possible conflict of interest saying the late Reverend was a close relative.

In court today, Prosecution witness Taniela Ligairi who worked for a production company – Workers Films took the stand.

Ligairi admitted that he believed the 2006 coup was illegal.

He recalled a road trip to Late Reverend Manasa Lasaro’s house with Karunaratne and Bulitavu.

The witness confirmed to court that a lot of conversations was held in the i-taukei language and Karunaratne was not part of it and also clarified that at no point in time the former businessman asked him to perform any act.

Ligairi said that it was only Bulitavu who gave his vision of a system of governance in Fiji in 2009.

He further said that in 2011, Bulitavu came to his home with his friends and some crew from Worker Films where he showed them some presentations from his laptop and talked about Fiji Democratic Alliance Freedom Movement.

Ligairi said Bulitavu wanted people to choose his system of governance and needed a group to perform graffiti and wanted them to be part of it.

The trial continues in the Suva Magistrates Court.

Meanwhile three other people involved in this case were given immunity last year.

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