Fiji Trade Unionist Has Political Violence Charges Dropped

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Urai relieved 4 years of ‘tormenting and torturing’ is over

By Siteri Sauvakacolo

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Oct. 8, 2015) – Trade unionist Daniel Urai is relieved that four years of "tormenting and torturing" was finally over after he was discharged by the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday.

The court's decision was prompted by a nolle prosequi filed by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to withdraw political violence charges.

In a press conference yesterday, Mr Urai said the ordeal had been hard.

"For four years the Government has had me on their file and everything that I have to do in this country, to leave for overseas seminars or attend to other union duties, I had to keep going to court to ask for the release of my passport," Mr Urai said.

"Now, finally they have filed a nolle on this matter and to some extent I'm a bit disappointed as I have organised my defence both locally and internationally and everyone was looking forward to the fight about the charge I was charged on.

"That was just four years of tormenting and torturing and I'm relieved ... I hope this will not happen to anybody else as we evolve into our new democracy." The Office of Director of the Public Prosecutions said political violence charges against him and Jagath Karunaratne were dropped pursuant to Section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Decree 2009.

Both of the men's passports were also released by the court.

The court also ordered the stop-departure order against them be lifted.

[PIR editor’s note: Fiji Sun reported that ‘Daniel Urai last night retained his position as general secretary of the National Union of Hospitality, Catering and Tourism Industries Employees. ... This is the second election in two months after the first was declared null and void because of complaints about voter registration.’]

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