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Redress sought

Aqela Susu
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

HIGH Court judge Justice Thushara Rajasinghe will deliver his judgment on an application for constitutional redress by a letter writer charged with sedition on February 23.

Josaia Waqabaca is charged along with Nai Lalakai editor Anare Ravula, The Fiji Times editor-in-chief Fred Wesley, The Fiji Times general manager and publisher Hank Arts and The Fiji Times Ltd with one count each of sedition.

The charges originated from a letter written by Mr Waqabaca and published by the iTaukei language newspaper, Nai Lalakai, on April 27, 2016 that was alleged to be seditious.

Mr Waqabaca's lawyer, Aman Ravindra-Singh filed the application under the Fijian Constitution, challenging the legality of the charge laid against his client on the grounds that his client's freedom of speech had been violated.

Mr Singh argued that his client's letter does not constitute hate speech.

Mr Singh said his client's right to freedom of expression was being violated by the charge laid against him.

He, however, clarified that by saying this, he did not mean he was questioning the powers of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the police.

In response, Attorney-General's office representative Bhavna Narayan said the applicant had not met the requirements to file an application for constitutional redress.

Ms Narayan had also earlier filed a notice of motion and summoned to strike out the application.

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