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Apology by OFC president refused by court……….

Court finds Fiji Times guilty of contempt

http://www.fijivillage.com/?mod=story&id=011012d4accd2b1639e459c2b8fba9

Fiji Times Limited has been has been found guilty of contempt of court by High Court Judge Justice William Calanchini.

Justice Calanchini has today ruled that he has found Fiji Times Limited, the publisher at the time Brian O’Flaherty and Editor Fred Wesley guilty of contempt scandalizing the court.

The story related to comments printed in the sports pages about the judiciary by Oceania Football Confederation secretary Tai Nicholas.

Justice Calanchini said to the extent that the affidavit sworn by Wesley purported to explain the system they have, it is apparent from the affidavits of two reporters that whatever system was in place at the time was either ineffective, unsupervised or not sufficiently monitored.

In his judgement, Justice Calanchini said whatever the reason, the responsibility for the publication of the material must be borne by both the publisher and the editor.

Justice Calanchini also highlighted a further story in the Fiji Times on June 30th this year about the OFC president apologizing to the government and a photo right next to it showing the OFC making a $25,000 donation to the Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Fund.

He said the apology as printed is coming from a person who was not a party to the proceedings and had no direct involvement in the proceedings.

He has now invited counsel as part of the mitigation hearing to address him on why he should not consider the material on June 30th as an aggravating factor of a grave nature.

The mitigating submission hearing date is yet to be set.

Fiji Times was represented by QC Julian Miles while Acting Solicitor General Sharvada Sharma represented the Attorney General.

Story by: Vijay Narayan

10 thoughts on “Apology by OFC president refused by court……….

  1. Why [now] Bainimarama has decided to review the labour decree? Is it because of the looming sanction that in going to be imposed on Fiji by US government or is he really Lamu? What has happened to his power of barrel? Has it been shoved under his sulu? Or perhaps his team of illegal advisers are jumping out of the sinking ship . Can the illegal self proclaimed attorney general clarify on this?

  2. C4.5 comment first labour mp satendra pratap hiding in meigunyah is late mp’s damaad. The labour mp in 1987 was Dr Satendra Nandan also from Meigunyah,Nadi and for your further information is currently a member of the constitution commission.
    Please do some research before putting pen to paper. The writer is very well identified.

  3. What rubbish. The regime has turned the nation into Frank and Aiyaz’s own private plantation – to say and do what they want, all the while blaming and jailing anyone that is honest, truthful or brave enough to stand up to them.

  4. The original FT story reported the words that Tai Nicholas used and did so in a way that complied with the requirements of the media decree.

    The latest FT article reported the apology made by Tai Nicolas and the OFC and did so in accordance with the media decree.

    This case is not similar to their 2009 publication of an anonymous letter which castigated the judicial system, since in that instance they didn’t abide by their own rules regarding letters to the editor and so rendered the court unable to pursue the writer for defamation.

    The FT has no reason to apologise for publishing Tai Nicolas’ comments and neither should it be taken to task for accurately reporting what others have said. It has given the judicial system ample voice to air its own view on the matter and therefore should be seen to have acted independently and without favour – as should be expected of any reputable newspaper.

    If the court does fine the FT then it will exacerbate the self censorship that many of us feels already exists in the newsrooms. And those who feel that self censorship doesn’t already exist will be deluded if they feel that such a judgement won’t initiate self censorship.

  5. Why waste time going through these court cases? Just go and ask Khaiyum what he wants the verdict to be and save money on judges and kangaroo courts.

  6. @ Gutter Press

    “it will exacerbate the self censorship that many of us feels already exists in the newsrooms”

    Well said. The Law is supposedly applied equally to all, but more equally to those that the Regime does not like…

    Though according to Graham Davis and Sharon Goebbels-Johns, there is no such thing as censorship in Fiji anymore…

  7. This is not censorship, this is our visionary government’s attempt to shield the public from bad news. In our happy little paradise, where freedom of expression is considered as an unalienable human right, we need a bit of responsible regulation of the media. Our citizens are apparently not yet ready for the aggressive and critical journalism of the FT. Well done Khaiyum, keep up your good work of protecting our happiness.

  8. Jail the the editor and publisher of the FIJI Times to teach them a lesson. Otherwise there will be no fear among journalists for contempt of Court.

    Its owner , MAHENDRA MOTIBHAI PATEL has already absconded from fiji, evading its jurisdiction to evade corruption charges when he was the chairman of POST FIJI. This bastard looted post fiji and many employees know about it.

  9. Calanchini is clearly still doing the bidding of Khaiyum a’la (In)Justice Marshall.

    Your use-by date too draweth nigh Calanchini lest you are lulling yourself into a false sense of security by Gates’ empty pledges that he can no longer make good on.

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