CHARGE AMEND­MENTS

Fiji Sun - - FRONT PAGE - ASHNA KU­MAR Edited by Ranoba Baoa Feed­back: ashna.ku­mar@fi­jisun.com.fj

to be filed be­fore Freesoul trial starts on Novem­ber 17

The trial for the case in­volv­ing Freesoul Real Estate De­vel­op­ment (Fiji) PTE Limited will be held on Novem­ber 17-20.

The case was called be­fore Mag­is­trate Seini Pua­mau at the Mag­is­trates Court in Suva yes­ter­day.

Freesoul Real Estate De­vel­op­ment (Fiji) PTE Limited is charged by the Direc­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions with one count each of un­der­tak­ing unau­tho­rised de­vel­op­ments and of fail­ure to com­ply with a pro­hi­bi­tion no­tice. The state was rep­re­sented by lawyer She­lyn Ki­ran from the Of­fice of the DPP while Freesoul Real Estate De­vel­op­ment (Fiji) PTE Limited was rep­re­sented by lawyer David To­gani­valu.

The charges:

For the of­fence of un­der­tak­ing unau­tho­rised de­vel­op­ments, it is al­leged that Freesoul Real Estate De­vel­op­ment (Fiji) PTE Limited at Wa­cia, Malolo, in the Western Di­vi­sion car­ried out de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­ity which is sub­ject to the En­vi­ron­men­tal Im­pact Assess­ment process with­out an ap­proved En­vi­ron­men­tal Im­pact Assess­ment (EIA) Re­port.

For the of­fence of fail­ure to com­ply with a pro­hi­bi­tion no­tice, it is al­leged that Freesoul Real Estate De­vel­op­ment (Fiji) PTE Limited at Wa­cia, Malolo, in the Western Di­vi­sion failed to com­ply with a Pro­hi­bi­tion No­tice is­sued against the said com­pany on June 1, 2018.

In court yes­ter­day:

Mag­is­trate Pua­mau or­dered the State to file their amended charges in the case on or be­fore close of busi­ness of Au­gust 12.

Mag­is­trate Pua­mau has time to Mr To­gani­valu to also given file his ob­jec­tions

Freesoul Real Estate De­vel­op­ment (Fiji) PTE Limited is charged by the Direc­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions with one count each of un­der­tak­ing unau­tho­rised de­vel­op­ments and of fail­ure to com­ply with a pro­hi­bi­tion no­tice.

to the amended charges on or be­fore close of busi­ness of Au­gust 19. She has fixed a hear­ing on the amended charge and for fur­ther time tabling or­ders on Au­gust 26. She has also or­dered the pros­e­cu­tion to ad­dress proper par­tic­u­lar­i­sa­tion so the court could un­der­stand the ge­o­graph­i­cal ar­eas of the said lo­ca­tion.

Mag­is­trate Pua­mau told both par­ties that there were some le­gal and fac­tual is­sues needed to be con­sid­ered in the case.

She out­lined is­sues be­low:

„ Whether the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment had legally ob­tained the en­vi­ron­men­tal re­port, „

Did the depart­ment have statu­tory pow­ers to en­ter and in­spect the site and

Whether the depart­ment needed spe­cial statu­tory pow­ers to do so Ms Ki­ran told the court that there would be two to three wit­nesses for the pros­e­cu­tion, de­pend­ing on the amend­ment of the charges.

Mr To­gani­valu told the court that if there was a case to answer, the de­fence would call four wit­nesses.

Mag­is­trate Pua­mau has fixed Septem­ber 10 for the con­tin­u­a­tion of hear­ing on the ex­clu­sion of ev­i­dence ap­pli­ca­tion. „

Photo. Ashna Ku­mar

Direc­tor of En­vi­ron­ment San­deep Singh (mid­dle), out­side the Mag­is­trates Court in Suva on Au­gust 5, 2020.

Photo. Ashna Ku­mar

From left: Freesoul Real Estate De­vel­op­ment (Fiji) PTE Limited project of­fi­cer Saula So­vani­valu, Freesoul Real Estate De­vel­op­ment (Fiji) PTE Limited’s lawyer David To­gani­valu and Te­vita Uluibau Drau­nidalo Cag­i­laba out­side the Mag­is­trates Court in Suva on Au­gust 5, 2020.

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