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Second prosecution witness takes stand in Fiji Times trial

May 2, 2018 4:42 am

The third day of alleged sedition trial involving the three Fiji Time staff, has today heard claims by writer, Josaia Waqabaca that he wrote his articles based on opinions from the streets.

Waqabaca, Nai Lalakai Editor Anare Ravula, Editor in Chief, Fred Wesley and Publisher Hank Arts are on trial for alleged sedition and aiding and abetting.
Waqabaca in his caution interview had said that he was practicing his freedom of expression and was not against the government when he wrote the letter to Nai Lalakai which was published on 27th April in 2016.

Investigating Officer, Esili Nadolo took the stand in the Suva High court this afternoon as the second prosecution witness.

Nadolo said that on 14th July 2016, he interviewed Josaia Waqabaca at the CID Headquarters and in his caution interview the writer had said that he started contributing to the Nai Lalakai edition after the 2014 General Elections.

Waqabaca said that his articles contained issues affecting the itaukei community and these issues were land, fishing rights and ownership of land.

He said that these were the issues he heard from people on the streets.

Waqabaca admitted that he never sought any legal advice before sending the letter to Nai Lalakai for publication as he was practicing his freedom of expression.

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 an ill-will and hostility between the population of Fiji particularly the Muslims and the Non-Muslims.

Ravula is charged with one count of aiding and abetting and it is alleged that he aided Arts to publish an article which was a seditious publication.

Wesley is charged with one count of aiding and abetting and it is alleged that he aided Arts to publish an article which was a seditious publication.

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.

The trial continues tomorrow.