14 Oct 2016

Fiji Times staff plead not guilty to antagonism charges

2:55 pm on 14 October 2016

Senior staff at the Fiji Times newspaper have pleaded not guilty to charges of inciting communal antagonism.

The Fiji Times headquarters on Victoria Parade, Suva

The Fiji Times headquarters on Victoria Parade, Suva Photo: RNZI / Sally Round

The director of public prosecutions laid the charges over an article in the iTaukei language newspaper, Nai Lalakai, regarding the Muslim community.

The article was written by Josaia Waqabaca, who was jailed after the 2000 coup for his role in a plot to kill the then-military commander - and now prime minister - Frank Bainimarama.

Charges were also laid against the Nai Lalakai editor Anare Ravula, Fiji Times editor-in-chief Fred Wesley and its publisher Hank Arts.

All four appeared in court this morning, where they pleaded not guilty.

The plea for the Fiji Times Limited was deferred due to the absence of an authorised director.

The accused have been granted bail and the case has been adjourned until 28 October.