They are charged with in­cit­ing com­mu­nal antagonism

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - JYOTI PRAT­I­BHA

Fiji Times Lim­ited, three of its se­nior staff, and a let­ter writer, ap­peared in court yes­ter­day charged with in­cit­ing com­mu­nal antagonism. Fiji Times pub­lisher Hank Arts, edi­tor-in-chief Fred Wes­ley, edi­tor Nai Lalakai, the com­pany’s iTaukei news­pa­per, Anare Ravula and a let­ter writer to the Nai Lalakai, Jo­saia Waqabaca, ap­peared be­fore Suva mag­is­trate Shageeth So­maratne. Rep­re­sent­ing Fiji Times Lim­ited and Arts, Wes­ley and Ravula are Nick Barnes and Ron­ald Singh of Munro Leys. Waqabaca was un­rep­re­sented when the mat­ter was called yes­ter­day, but has opted for pri­vate coun­sel.

Of­fice of the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions was rep­re­sented by as­sis­tant DPP Lee Bur­ney. The charges stem from an ar­ti­cle which was pub­lished in the Nai Lalakai on April 27, 2016. Con­tent of the ar­ti­cle was read in court. The con­tent read: “Ko ira na Musu­lo­mani era sega ni taukei kei Viti,

sai ira nai lawalawa oqo era a curu botea na vanua eso ka dua vei ira ko Bangladesh mai Idia, kara vei vaka­matei kina, ku­cuvi na nodra yalewa, ra vakararawataki na gone me ya­cova sara nira sa lewa ka sa nodra tu edaidai” (Trans­lated as “Mus­lims are not the indigenous of this coun­try. Th­ese are peo­ple that have in­vaded other na­tions, for ex­am­ple, Bangladesh in In­dia, where they killed, raped and abused their women and chil­dren. To­day they have gone to the ex­tent of hav­ing a part in the run­ning of the coun­try”) Mr Bur­ney while re­fer­ring to Waqabaca dur­ing bail dis­cus­sions, in­formed the court that Waqabaca “was the one with poi­son pen” and Mr Bur­ney in­sisted that Waqabaca’s travel doc­u­ments be sur­ren­dered as part of bail con­di­tions. He also in­formed the court that the four were charged with an in­dictable of­fence.

All four have been re­leased on strict bail con­di­tions, on a bail bond of $1000, warned not to in­ter­fere with wit­nesses, sur­ren­der their travel doc­u­ments and to ap­pear in court on Au­gust 31. Surety for Wes­ley is his fa­ther Fred Wes­ley Se­nior, surety for Arts is a di­rec­tor of Fiji Times Lim­ited Ji­nesh Pa­tel while surety for Ravula is Fiji Times

Lim­ited’s financial con­troller Ab­hishek Narayan. State has been given 14 days to pro­vide sec­ond phase dis­clo­sures to the ac­cused. Also present in court ob­serv­ing the pro­ceed­ings was a Euro­pean Union del­e­gate. Be­fore the four were pre­sented in court, they were rounded up and taken to the Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions De­part­ment head­quar­ters at Toorak, Suva, around12.30pm.

The four, in the pres­ence of their lawyer, were charged at the CID head­quar­ters, where they had their lunch be­fore be­ing es­corted in two ve­hi­cles to Court. They waited in the hold­ing cell for about 40 min­utes be­fore the mat­ter was called.

Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

Fiji Times pub­lisher Hank Arts in the Suva Court hold­ing cell yes­ter­day.

Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

Fiji Times Nai Lalakai edi­tor Anare Ravula (mid­dle), and Jo­saia Waqabaca (right), out­side the Suva Court yes­ter­day.

Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

Fiji Times Edi­tor-in-Chief Fred Wes­ley out­side the Suva Court yes­ter­day.

Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

Jo­saia Waqabaca at the Suva Court hold­ing cell yes­ter­day.

Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

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