Fiji Times May Face Massive Fine, Editor’s Imprisonment

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Newspaper found guilty of contempt for controversial article

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 26, 2012) – Fiji’s acting Solicitor General, Sharvada Sharma has asked the High Court to impose a half a million Fiji dollar fine on the country’s oldest newspaper, and send its editor to jail.

The Fiji Times, and its editor and former publisher, were found guilty of contempt of court, over an article containing a quote attributed to the General Secretary of the Oceania Football Federation, Tai Nicholas. Megan Whelan reports.

"Fiji Village reports Mr. Sharma told the court the Fiji Times is a repeat offender and an appropriate penalty needs to be imposed on the company. The Fiji Times lawyer, Jon Apted, said the penalties should not be excessive and there should not be any imprisonment. He says the comment, that Fiji had no judiciary, was printed in error, and measures have been put in place to stop it happening again. Justice Callanchini said the systems should have been in place before this incident took place. Justice Callanchini reserved his decision."

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