11 Jul 2012

New Zealand sedition accused to remain in Fiji for trial

1:03 pm on 11 July 2012

The Fiji High Court in Suva has overturned a decision by the Chief Magistrate to allow a New Zealand man accused of sedition, Jagnath Karunaratne, to travel abroad.

Mr Karunaratne, who was charged with writing anti-government graffiti in public places and on billboards last year, wanted to travel to Sri Lanka to attend a ceremony in memory of his parents and visit his brother.

But according to the Fiji Sun, the High Court Judge, Justice Salesi Temo, has ruled that the accused is to remain in Fiji until the case is completed.

His lawyer had wanted the charges to be dismissed on the grounds of unlawfulness and illegality.

Mr Karunaratne's affidavit alleges he was detained for eight days and 11 days respectively which exceeded the 10 days allowed under the emergency provisions in place at the time.