20 Feb 2013

Fiji Times fined for contempt of court, editor gets suspended jail sentence

6:59 pm on 20 February 2013

The owner of the Fiji Times newspaper, its editor and a former publisher have been sentenced after being found guilty last year of contempt of court.

According to Fijivillage, the paper has been fined 170,000 US dollars and the paper's editor, Fred Wesley, has been given a six-month suspended jail sentence.

The former publisher Brian O'Flaherty has been fined nearly 6,000 US dollars.

They had been convicted for the paper running an article from New Zealand's Sunday Star Times, which contained a quote attributed to the General Secretary of the Oceania Football Federation, Tai Nicholas.

Fiji's attorney-general had brought court proceedings against Nicholas, claiming the comments scandalised the court and posed the risk of undermining public confidence in the independence and impartiality of the Fijian judiciary and the administration of justice in Fiji.

Nicolas pleaded guilty last July and has been ordered to pay an 8,000 US dollar fine.