17 Feb 2017

Fiji Times publisher fails to get bail variation

5:21 pm on 17 February 2017
The Fiji Times

The Fiji Times building in Suva Photo: Matthias Süßen

The Fiji Times publisher Hank Arts has failed to get a bail variation in the Court of Appeal.

In August, Mr Arts was charged with inciting communal antagonism over an newspaper article and if found guilty, he risks up to ten years in prison.

The President of the Court Justice William Calanchini said as a dual New Zealand and Fiji citizen there was a risk that the accused would not return to Fiji.

Mr Arts wanted to go to his daughter's wedding in New Zealand and to have a medical review.

The charges relate to an article published in April in the newspaper's i-Taukei language Nai Lalakai paper.

Those charged include the writer of the article Josaia Waqabaca, the Nai Lalakai editor Anare Ravula and the Fiji Times editor Fred Wesley.

Mr Arts had said he was ready to forfeit his two properties and his pension funds to the government if he failed to return to Fiji.