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Judgement on Fiji Times case to be delivered on Tuesday

May 18, 2018 8:30 pm

Suva High court Judge Justice Thushara Rajasinghe will deliver his verdict on Tuesday after the assessors late yesterday afternoon unanimously found writer Josaia Waqabaca and the Fiji Times executives not guilty of sedition and aiding and abetting charges.

After several hours of summing up by Justice Rajasinghe, the three assessors retired behind closed doors to deliberate on an opinion.

During his summing up which almost went for three hours, Justice Rajasinghe highlighted the evidence of eleven witnesses who took the stand in the trial, which started at the end of last month.

The High court Judge said that each of the accused were charged separately based on one document.

Justice Rajasinghe said that the prosecution alleges that the article written by Josaia Waqabaca suggests that Muslims are land grabbing monsters and will take over the land in Fiji if the readers of Nai Lalakai do not take action.

However according to the defense the article was only suggesting national reconciliation on issues affecting the i-Taukei community.

Josaia Waqabaca is charged with one count of sedition and it is alleged that between the 20th and 27th April 2016 he did a seditious act and submitted an article in the Nai Lalakai newspaper which could have caused feelings of ill-will and hostility between the population of Fiji particularly the Muslims and the Non-Muslims.

Anare Ravula and Fred Wesley are charged with one count each of aiding and abetting and it is alleged that they aided Arts to publish an article which was a seditious publication.

Hank Arts is charged with one count of sedition and it is alleged that he published an article on 27th April which could have caused an ill-will and hostility between the population of Fiji particularly the Muslims and the Non-Muslims.

It’s alleged the Fiji Times printed an article in the Nai Lalakai newspaper 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 Judgement will be delivered at 11.30am next Tuesday.