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The appeal on the bail variation application of the Publisher of The Fiji Times Limited Hank Arts has been dismissed by the Fiji Court of Appeal.
Arts had filed an appeal on the bail variation ruling earlier delivered by High Court Judge Justice Thushara Rajasinghe.
Arts wanted to travel to New Zealand to attend his step daughter’s wedding this month and also to undergo a medical review.
Arts had earlier advised the Suva High Court that he is ready to forfeit his two properties and his Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) funds to the government if he does not return to Fiji.
President of the Fiji Court of Appeal Justice William Calanchini says the first observation made by the Appeals Court is that the reasons given by Arts cannot be described as urgent and pressing.
Justice Calanchini says Arts is a Fiji and NZ citizen, and it would be irresponsible for any court to disregard that.
He says Arts has strong family ties in NZ and the risk of not returning to Fiji outweighs his desire to attend his step daughter’s wedding.
Arts is charged with Nai Lalakai editor Anare Ravula, The Fiji Times editor-in-chief Fred Wesley, The Fiji Times Ltd and contributor Josaia Waqabaca with one count of inciting communal antagonism in relation to an article published by the iTaukei language newspaper, Nai Lalakai, last year.
It is alleged that Waqabaca, Ravula, Wesley, Arts and Fiji Times Ltd made, or caused to be published, a statement in the Nai Lalakai newspaper which was likely to incite dislike, antagonism or hatred of the Muslim community.
SOURCE: FIJI VILLAGE/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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