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Kawale denied bail for misinformation

March 24, 2020 12:50 pm
Bani Kawale charged for allegedly spreading fake news about COVID-19

Spreading false information in a crisis situation will not be taken lightly warned the Suva Magistrate this afternoon.

The Magistrate’s comment came during his ruling to refuse the bail of 41-year-old man who is charged for allegedly spreading fake news.

Bani Kawale, the bodyguard of SODELPA leader, Sitiveni Rabuka appeared in Court this afternoon.

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He was taken in custody over the weekend for allegedly posting fake news about COVID-19 on Facebook.

The accused from Makoi, Nasinu is charged with one count of Malicious Act Contrary to Section 15 (a) of the Public Order Act 1969.

It is alleged that between the 20th and 21st March, Kawale used Facebook to publish and broadcast false news about positive cases of Coronavirus at the CWM Hospital in Suva.

The defense informed the court that Kawale is looking after his elderly parents and has been in custody for more than 48 hours.

They also stated that this has breached his rights.

The prosecution had objected to bail saying the case is of national interest as his post had caused fear and panic among Fijians.

The prosecution also said that if granted bail he may interfere with the witnesses.

The matter has been adjourned to April 7th.

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