14 People In Fiji Convicted Of Sedition Jailed

Their lawyer Aman Ravindra-Singh said the sentences included a suspended element of up to 6 months while one person got a fully suspended sentence, the 15 people continue to maintain their innocence

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, September 29, 2017) – 14 of the 15 people convicted last week in Fiji on sedition charges have been given custodial sentences of up to three years.

The group is accused of conducting secret military training in the hinterlands of the northern Ra province, as part of a wider effort to form a breakaway Christian state.

Their lawyer Aman Ravindra-Singh said the sentences included a suspended element of up to 6 months while one person got a fully suspended sentence.

Mr Ravindra Singh said the 15 people continued to maintain their innocence.

"As far as they are concerned they have not committed a crime. They continue to believe that they have the right to champion and advocate for the rights of indigenous people, the rights of indigenous land and indigenous issues," he said. "And that is exactly what they did and there is no shame in that.

Mr Ravindra-Singh said he would be filing appeals to the Court of Appeal from next week.

He said those convicted were being sent to jail.

The sentences

- Ratu Epeli Niudamu: two year suspended sentence.

- Sailasa Wairoaroa Malani: 2 years in prison, six months of which is suspended.

- Sereima Adidave Rokodi: 2 years in prison, six months of which is suspended.

- Nanise Kasami Nagusuca: 3 years in prison, 12 months of which is suspended.

- Waisea Duailima: 3 years in prison, 12 months of which is suspended.

- Isikeli Waisega Kabakoro: 2 years in prison, six months of which is suspended.

- Laisiasa Mocevakaca: 2 years in prison, six months of which is suspended.

- Emosi Toga: 2 years in prison, six months of which is suspended.

- Waisake Racaca: 2 years in prison, six months of which is suspended.

- Samuela Ligabalavu: 2 years in prison, six months of which is suspended.

- Mikaele Gonerara: 2 years in prison, six months of which is suspended.

- Josefa Natau: 2 years in prison, six months of which is suspended.

- Sulueti Lotu Waqalala: 2 years in prison, six months of which is suspended.

- Ulaiyasi Rabua Tuivomo: 2 years in prison, four months of which is suspended.

- Apolosi Qalilawa: 18 months of prison, 6 months of which is suspended.

Source: Office of the Director of Prosecutions.

Radio New Zealand International
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