16 Sep 2003

Fiji state could face wrongful imprisonment costs of US$8.5m

9:15 am on 16 September 2003

A report from Fiji says a case of wrongful imprisonment could cost the state 8-point-5 million US dollars in damages.

The Daily Post says this follows a ruling by the high court that the magistrate's court wrongfully imprisoned a William Rosa twice for a single offence in 1999.

It quotes Justice Anthony Gates as saying that the legal bungle was going to be very costly for the state.

Based on a 5,500 US dollar compensation paid to a 14-year-old boy who was falsely imprisoned for four hours, the state could pay out more than 8-point-5 million US dollars.

The Prisons Department has admitted that Mr Rosa was wrongfully confined for four months more than his original sentence for various offences, one of which was imposed twice by different magistrate's courts.