Newspaper takes plea

THE Fiji Times Ltd yesterday pleaded not guilty to one count of communal antagonism.

The newspaper company is charged with Josaia Waqabaca, a letter writer, Nai Lalakai editor Anare Ravula, The Fiji Times editor-in-chief, Fred Wesley and its publisher/general manager Hank Arts in relation to an article published by its iTaukei language newspaper, Nai Lalakai, on April 27 this year.

They appeared before Justice Priyantha Fernando at the High Court in Suva. The Fiji Times lawyer, Feizal Haniff presented a letter in court indicating the company’s stance that it would take a not guilty plea on the matter.

Meanwhile, State lawyer Yogesh Prasad told the court that the State would rely on the caution interview statement of Mr Waqabaca. Mr Waqabaca’s lawyer, Aman Ravindra Singh, confirmed to the court that they would file voir dire grounds on the next date.

The matter has been adjourned to November 30 for the State to prepare proposed agreed facts.

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