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State makes an application for Freesoul case transfer

September 22, 2021 12:40 pm

The State in the Freesoul Real Estate Development case has made an application to transfer the matter to High Court for sentencing.

This as the maximum fine for the offence is $750,000 and the State has submitted that the quantum range for the fine that it seeks is from $450,001 to $750,000 given the level of harm caused by the unauthorized development.

Freesoul Real Estate Development was convicted of carrying out unauthorized development on Malolo Island earlier this year.

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The Estate was charged with three counts of undertaking unauthorized development and failure to comply with a prohibition notice.

They had carried out work on the dry land at Wacia and Qelelawa on Malolo Island without an approved Environment Impact Assessment Report in 2017.

The Suva Magistrate found the company guilty of two counts of undertaking the unauthorized development, however, they were found not guilty of the third count of failure to comply with a prohibition notice.

The State has submitted that given the substantial amount in the quantum range, the Magistrate could only sentence for a fine of $15,000 and thus the need to transfer the matter to High court

The Defense will file their submission this Friday.

The hearing on the application will be next Wednesday.

 

 

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