Group walks free from charges

A GROUP of men who allegedly inferred and obstructed the construction of roads in Wainabama in Namosi have been acquitted.

Sipiriano Nariva, Pio Tabuasei, Kusitino Lebaivalu, Gabriele Waikabakaba and Abaramo Bakaniceva appeared before Magistrate Thushara Thennakoon at the Navua Magistrates Court last week.

The five were acquitted of one count of common nuisance, one count of indecently annoying a person and one count of criminal intimidation.

They were accused of interfering and obstructing the construction of roads carried out by employees of Namosi Joint Venture by allegedly stopping company machines to construct roads where mining exploration was to take place — an act which was not authorised by law and which caused annoyance to Setafano Nauqe and others.

The alleged offence took place on August 26, 2015 at Wainabama, Namosi.

The men were also alleged to have, without lawful excuse and with intent to cause alarm, threatened Setafano Nauqe and others with cane knives.

In an interview with this newspaper, Mr Nariva expressed how happy they were to finally get over the case which was pending in court for almost five years.

“We are so happy that we have won our case and we thank our lawyer for standing beside us and fighting our case with us,” he said.

The five were represented by Ronal Singh of Munro Leys.

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