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DPP looks at sedition charges for Fiji Times, Hank Arts and others

DPP looks at sedition charges for Fiji Times, Hank Arts and others

By Vijay Narayan and Semi Turaga
Tuesday 07/03/2017
The Fiji Times Limited Publisher Hank Arts (front) and Editor Fred Wesley.

The Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Lee Burney has today informed the Suva High Court that they are planning to amend the charges against The Fiji Times Limited, Publisher Hank Arts, Editor Fred Wesley, Nai Lalakai Editor Anare Ravula and contributor Josaia Waqabaca.

Burney told the court that they are now looking at sedition charges.

High Court Judge, Justice Thusara Rajasinghe has given the prosecution 21 days to consider whether sedition maybe a more appropriate charge.

Lawyer for Arts, Wesley and Fiji Times Limited, Faizal Haniff said that the prosecution should give the court a clear direction on which charge they want.

Haniff also says that they should have the courtesy to inform the defence.

The maximum penalty for sedition is 7 years imprisonment.

Meanwhile the judge has also told Waqabaca and Ravula not to expect unnecessary adjournments because their lawyers are not present in court.

Justice Rajasinghe raised concern about Waqabaca’s lawyer, Aman Ravindra Singh as he has not appeared in the case for 3 consecutive times.

It is alleged that Arts, Wesley, Waqabaca, Ravula and The Fiji Times Limited made, or caused to be published, a statement in the iTaukei language in Nai Lalakai newspaper that is likely to incite dislike, hatred, or antagonism of the Muslim community.

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