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Contempt case not to muzzle media

Felix Chaudhary
Saturday, December 07, 2013

THE contempt of court proceedings against Fiji Times Ltd was not a means to muzzle the media.

This, according to Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

Addressing more than 300 members of the legal fraternity at the opening of the 15th Attorney-General's Conference in Natadola yesterday, the PM said contempt proceedings against news agencies were not unique to Fiji.

"Some people saw the contempt proceedings against The Fiji Times as a means to muzzle the media," he said.

"But, of course, that is not the case.

"Because contempt cases have been brought against the media in other so-called liberal democracies.

"The rules governing contempt are based on British common law, which is precisely the law under which media outlets like The Fiji Times had judicial decisions made against them."

Fiji Times Ltd was fined $300,000 following a contempt of court verdict in November 2011.