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Nadroga 16 plead not guilty

August 26, 2015 7:05 pm

The 16 men and women charged with one count of sedition and one count of intent to cause communal antagonism have made a ‘not guilty plea’ at the Lautoka High Court yesterday.

In court, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions reported that the disclosures of the case had already been filed.

Defence Lawyer Aman Ravindra Singh asked the court for the case to be stood down for two hours so he could study the disclosures and evidence before consulting with his clients for a plea.

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Singh also highlighted to the court that the DPP has set a dangerous precedence saying that his clients were charged and remanded in custody for the past nine days with no disclosures or evidence brought before the court.

Singh also told the court that the heavy presence of family members and relatives outside the courthouse was because they were not allowed to visit or talk to the 16 accused by Correction Facility officers in the past nine days.

Judge Justice Thushara Rajasinghe ruled for the case to be stood down for two hours to give time for Singh to consult with his clients.

The case was recalled at 11.30am but the defence and his clients were not ready. Justice Rajasinghe then adjourned the matter and recalled it at 2pm.

The 16 accused then had their charges read to them. All accused persons pleaded not guilty to both counts.

Ravindra-Singh also sought an early trial date but was informed by Justice Rajasinghe that the court has no available dates this year.

The case has been adjourned to the 7th of September where a ruling on the 16’s bail application will be made.

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