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FIJI: AG Office calls for guilty verdict in CCF contempt case

CCF director Reverend Akuila Yabaki ... pleaded not guilty to the contempt charge. Image: FijiVillage

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Item: 8162

Vijay Narayan and Tokasa Rainima

SUVA ( / Pacific Media Watch): The Fiji Attorney -General’s Office is asking for the High Court to find the Citizens Constitutional Forum (CCF) and its director Reverend Akuila Yabaki guilty of contempt of court.

CCF and Reverend Yabaki have pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The contempt proceedings arose from an article titled “Fiji - The Rule of Law Lost” which was published in the April 2012 edition of Tutaka, CCF’s quarterly newsletter.

While making the submission before Justice William Calanchini, Acting Solicitor-General Sharvada Sharma said the article published in the CCF newsletter is unfounded and unsubstantiated, and undermines the dignity and independence of the judiciary.

However, CCF’s senior counsel, Neil Williams, said the article contained no reference to any individual. 

He said the article dealt with questions of structures and the law. 

Williams said it was nothing about "scandalising the judiciary". 

He also asked the court to consider the justification of truth in this matter.

Justice Calanchini will deliver his ruling on notice.

Cafe Pacific commentary on the contempt cases

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Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators.
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