CCF and Yabaki Convicted and Fined
While handing down the sentence in the contempt of court case today, Justice William Calanchini also said that Yabaki's sentence will be suspended upon the condition that Yabaki pays a $2,000 fine within 28 days. He also has to pay costs of $2,500 within 28 days to the Attorney General's Office. CCF also has to pay $2500 in costs to the Attorney General's Office within 28 days.
Justice Calanchini also ruled that CCF has to arrange an apology directed to the judiciary of Fiji. This is to be drafted and submitted within 28 days to the court for approval. Once the apology is approved, it has to be printed in the next edition of the CCF Newsletter, Tutaka.
CCF and Yabaki were found guilty of contempt scandalising the court on the basis that the words in the article as understood by the newsletter's readers would have the effect of raising doubts in their minds that disputes between the public and the government would not be resolved by impartial and independent judges.
Justice Calanchini said in his view, this is a serious contempt. He said in his judgement that there may not presently be a parliamentary system of government in Fiji but this does not in any way diminish the importance of maintaining public confidence in the judicial system, and the moral authority and integrity of the judiciary and the courts.
Fiji Village Publish date/time: 09/08/2013. Story by Vijay Narayan. Photo: The Fiji Times.