Home

Headlines Weather Search

News

Sports

Business

World

Radio

Radio Fiji One Mirchi FM Gold FM Bula FM 2Day FM Radio Fiji Two

TV

FBC TV FBC Sports FBC 2

News

Closing submissions in the Fiji Times sedition trial continues

May 15, 2018 3:30 am

The defence counsel for the publisher of the Fiji Times and Editor in Chief Fred Wesley in his closing submission today said his clients were not aware of the letter in question and they should be acquitted of the charges.

Marc Corlett said his clients were not aware of the letter given by writer Josaia Waqabaca to the editor of Nai Lalakai Anare Ravula.

Corlett said prosecution’s case has collapsed.

Article continues after advertisement

He said his clients had nothing to do with the letter.

Earlier today, Waqabaca’s lawyer Aman Ravindra Singh said the prosecution failed to produce any evidence that the letter written by Nai Lalakai writer Josaia Waqabaca created any ill feelings or ill-will among the Muslim and non-Muslims in the country.

Writer, Josaia Waqabaca, Fiji Times Limited publisher Hank Arts, Editor Fred Wesley and Nai Lalakai editor Anare Ravula are charged with sedition and aiding and abetting.

Waqabaca and Arts 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.

The closing submissions continue this afternoon.

Singh says between 20th and 25th April in 2016 Josaia Waqabaca dropped a letter to the Fiji Times office in Suva and the same letter was given to the Attorney General’s office.

He said Waqabaca was expressing his concern on issues affecting the i-Taukei community – mainly the land.

He adds the same letter found its way in the Nai Lalakai and was published on April 27th.

Singh says two months later Permanent Secretary for i-Taukei Affairs, Naipote Katonitabua, ‘wakes up’, reads the letter and feels it was seditious and reports the matter to police.

Singh says the original recipient of the letter who was Attorney General had no issue with it.

He also says that if he would than he would have lodged a complaint.

Meanwhile Anare Ravula’s lawyer Devanesh Sharma in his closing submission said police were lazy and did not carry out full investigation after the complaint was lodged.

Sharma also said that none of the readers of Nai Lalakai complained about the article or took it to the Media Industry Development Authority.

He also said there has been no complaint or feedback on the letter until now.

Sharma says there is no evidence of any disturbance to the tranquility of the state.

He said that Waqabaca was only seeking national reconciliation or a peaceful dialogue.

Sharma said the letter was not seditious so the charges of sedition drops.

He said there is no evidence that the article had incited its readers.

The closing submissions continue this afternoon.

Keep Connected With The Latest News, Weather, And Sports on Fiji's Best Radio stations.

Live Tune In
  • 95.4 FM
  • Suva, Nadi, Lautoka, Labasa
  • 95.2 FM
  • Sigatoka, Ba
  • 95.6 FM
  • Tavua
  • 95.8 FM
  • Rakiraki
Live Tune In
  • 102.6 FM
  • Suva, Nadi, Lautoka, Labasa
  • 102.4 FM
  • Sigatoka, Ba
  • 102.8 FM
  • Tavua
  • 103.0 FM
  • Rakiraki
Live Tune In
  • 97.8 FM
  • Suva, Nadi, Lautoka, Labasa
  • 97.6 FM
  • Sigatoka, Ba
  • 98.0 FM
  • Tavua
  • 98.2 FM
  • Rakiraki
Live Tune In
  • 93.0 FM
  • Suva, Nadi, Lautoka, Labasa
  • 92.8 FM
  • Sigatoka, Ba
  • 93.2 FM
  • Tavua
  • 93.4 FM
  • Rakiraki
Live Tune In
  • 100.2 FM
  • Suva, Nadi, Lautoka, Labasa
  • 100.0 FM
  • Sigatoka, Ba
  • 100.4 FM
  • Tavua
  • 100.6 FM
  • Rakiraki
Live Tune In
  • 105.0 FM
  • Suva, Nadi, Lautoka, Labasa
  • 104.8 FM
  • Sigatoka, Ba
  • 105.2 FM
  • Tavua
  • 105.4 FM
  • Rakiraki