Trial for alleged Facebook publisher continues

February 20, 2024 6:30 am

Kishore Kumar (left), Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Lenora Qereqeretabua

The trial for the infamous social media publisher continued yesterday afternoon, where the remaining video evidence was shown before the court.

Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Lenora Qereqeretabua continued to give evidence and informed the court that Kishore Kumar had attempted to apologize to her through various media organizations and through the principal of RSMS, but she had refused to accept the apology.

In one of the videos that were presented, Kumar allegedly claimed that he was in Vunisea Kadavu and was drinking grog with some people who showed him the video and shared it with him.

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In another piece of evidence, Kumar allegedly claimed the narration was generated by AI and not him, claiming that the FijiFirst party had rejected her because she was a pornstar and the National Federation Party had accepted her and accused the NFP of being a pornographic and adulterous party.

Qereqeretabua testified that she applied to be the candidate of the NFP and not FijiFirst. She said that it was humiliating and infuriating because of the unwanted spotlight she was put under as a woman doing her job as a member of Parliament.

Qereqeretabua highlighted that she had to stand up against this because people like Kumar will be attacking anyone in the name of free speech.

The prosecution questioned Qereqeretabua about an alleged claim made by Kumar in one of the videos where he stated that Qereqeretabua had cursed the Indo-Fijians, to which the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that this was provided out of context.

Qereqeretabua, while providing context, stated that after the 2020 budget debates, her party president, Pio Tikoduadua, had been allegedly attacked by the Prime Minister out of Parliament, to which she was a witness.

She testified that a special privileges committee was convened, of which Qereqeretabua was also part, and came to the conclusion that both the former PM and Tikoduadua were guilty of the offense and had to apologize in Parliament.

She stated that she was not happy as the government side had noted a standing order to which if both the individuals involved didn’t apologize then they would be suspended for 6 months, and Tikoduadua claimed that he had not done anything wrong and chose not to apologize, and subsequently he was suspended from Parliament for six months.

Qereqeretabua was upset regarding this and posted on her social media page. She agreed in court that she did use the word curse. However, she stated that she apologized to the members mentioned in her post, and she moved a point of order and apologized in Parliament about the comments that she made.

The NFP MP stated that this was allegedly taken out of context as Kumar had gone on to talk about racial intolerance.

The trial will continue today.