Pacific Media Watch

18 May 2018

FIJI: Fiji Times sedition trial assessors give unanimous ‘not guilty’ opinion

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The Fiji Times editorial and management team with their lawyers await the trial assessors' opinions on the High Court steps in Suva tonight. Pictured in front are letter writer Josaia Waqabaca, Fiji Times publisher Hank Arts, Fiji Times editor-in-chief Fred Wesley, and Nai Lalakai editor Anare Ravula. Image: Timoci Vula/Fiji Times

By Talebula Kate
SUVA (The Fiji Times/Asia Pacific Report/Pacific Media Watch): The three assessors in The Fiji Times sedition trial tonight returned a unanimous not guilty opinion on all counts.

They found Fiji Times publisher Hank Arts not guilty for the charge of publishing a seditious article in Nai Lalakai, a letter to the editor on April 27, 2016.

They also found Nai Lalakai editor Anare Ravula and Fiji Times editor-in-chief Fred Wesley not guilty for having aided and abetted the publication of a seditious article.

READ MORE: The Fiji 4 - the case that tests press freedoms

Letter writer Josaia Waqabaca was also found not guilty for the charge of submitting for publication an article written by him with a seditious intention, while the Fiji Times Ltd which was charged for printing a seditious publication was also found not guilty by the assessors.

High Court judge Justice Thushara Rajasinghe will deliver his judgment next week on Tuesday.

Talebula Kate is a Fiji Times reporter.

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