Naidu readies to defend allegation

Suva lawyer Richard Naidu. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Contempt of court proceedings have been issued against Suva lawyer Richard Naidu by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, claiming that one of his social media posts “ridiculed” a High Court judge.

Leave to issue the proceedings was granted to Mr Sayed-Khaiyum by High Court judge Justice Jude Nanayakarra in an ex parte ruling on Monday, June 27.

The case concerns a Facebook post by Mr Naidu in February, this year in which he included an excerpt of a court judgment. The judgment contained two references to the word “injection”.

Mr Naidu’s post was alleged to have said: “Maybe our judges need to be shielded from all this vaccination campaigning. I’m pretty sure all the applicant wanted was an injunction.”

According to Mr Sayed-Khaiyum the post sought to “ridicule the presiding judicial officer and the Fijian judiciary as a whole”.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum further said the post sought to “bring into disrepute and lower the reputation of the presiding judicial officer and the administration of justice in Fiji and invite and encourage viewers of the post to cast aspersions against expatriate judicial officers”.

“Taking into consideration of the background facts and the procedural law set out in Order 52, rule 2 (of the High Court Rules), I grant leave ex parte to apply for an order of commital against the respondent,” the judgement said.

The case will be called in the High Court at midday on Friday July 8. In a statement issued yesterday Mr Naidu said Mr Sayed-Khaiyum’s application would be defended.

“In view of the fact that the matter is now before the Court, I am unable to comment further until the case is disposed of,” he said.

More Stories