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Closing submissions on sedition trial to be presented next week

May 10, 2018 7:34 pm

Defence Counsels and the Assistant DPP are expected to present their closing submissions on Tuesday in the Fiji Times sedition trial.

Suva High Court Judge, Justice Thushara Rajasinghe says that after the presentation of the closing submissions, he will need two days before he sums up the case.

Meanwhile, second Defence witness for the Fiji Times, Lawyer Richard Naidu told the court yesterday that the law firm Munro Leys he works for provides pre-publication work for the newspaper, meaning that either him, Jon Apted or Nick Barnes view the content of the Fiji Times newspaper to see if it’s not defaming anyone, breaching any laws before it is published.

Naidu said that he only receives emails from senior reporters and editors when they have queries on stories.

He adds that he does not receive any emails from Publisher Hank Arts and usually receives emails from Editor-in-Chief, Fred Wesley once a week.

However he said that Arts does have the liberty to contact him.

Naidu adds that he sometimes provide training to editorial staff in the Fiji Times group.

He mentioned that he doesn’t do much in the Nai Lalakai newspaper as it is a weekly newspaper.

Naidu adds that Munro Leys never received any complaints from the Media Industry Development Authority about the letter in the Nai Lalakai newspaper.

Writer Josaia Waqabaca, Nai Lalakai Editor, Anare Ravula, Editor- in-Chief Fred Wesley and Publisher Hank Arts are on trial charged with sedition and aiding and abetting.

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.