Fiji Timess sedition trial vacated
SUVA,11 DECEMBER 2017 (FIJI TIMES)— The trial of the three senior officials of The Fiji Times Ltd, the company and a letter writer has been vacated to next year.
This was after defence lawyer, Pravesh Sharma withdrew as counsel for The Fiji Times editor-in-chief, Fred Wesley, the company’s general manager and publisher, Hank Arts and the company this morning. [restrict]
Arts, Wesley and the company are charged with Nai Lalakai editor, Anare Ravula and a letter writer, Josaia Waqabaca with one count each of sedition.
They were alleged to have to have published or caused to publish a letter in the Nai Lalakai newspaper in April last year that was likely to be seditious.
In his submissions before Justice Thushara Rajasinghe at the High Court in Suva this morning,Sharma said his three clients felt things were rushed and they did not have the chance to talk to other senior counsels in New Zealand.
Sharma also asked the court for an adjournment to February next year to give the three accused time to seek legal representation from another counsel.
He said this should also be done for the interest of justice for all accused persons.
The other defence lawyers, Devanesh Sharma and Aman Ravindra- Singh did not object to the application.
Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Lee Burney the Prosecution had always stood for fairness for both the defence and the State.
Justice Rajasinghe has now adjourned the matter to February 9, next year.
A trial date is likely to be set for either May or June, 2018…..PACNEWS [/restrict]