Fiji Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal Against The Fiji Times Newspaper, Executives

Newspaper fined for contempt of court conviction

By Nemani Delaibatiki 

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, April 23, 2017) –  The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by The Fiji Times and two executives against a Court of Appeal judgment.

The executives are former publisher Brian O’Flaherty and current editor-in-chief Fred Wesley.

The Court of Appeal had earlier dismissed an appeal from the three against a contempt of court conviction handed down by the High Court in Suva.

The appellants had pleaded not guilty when the case was originally heard in the High Court.

But the judge after hearing found the appellants guilty of contempt scandalising the court following an article in the Fiji Times. Fiji Times was fined $300,000 [US$144,000].

After the unsuccessful appeal to the Court of Appeal, the three applied to the Supreme Court for leave to appeal on several grounds claiming that the Justices of the Court of Appeal had erred in law.

The Supreme Court also ruled that the petitioners shall jointly and severally pay $5000 [US$2,400] as costs to the respondent, the Attorney-General.

The Supreme Court judges were Justice Suresh Chandra, Justice Brian Keith and Justice Chitrasiri Kankani

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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