25 Apr 2005

Fiji newspaper to continue protecting sources

10:18 pm on 25 April 2005

The Daily Post newspaper in Fiji says it will continue to protect its sources despite a High Court Judge's comment that the law does not recognise this.

Judge Nazhat Shameem has told a Media Forum on Ethics and Journalism in Suva that journalists could be held in contempt if they do not disclose sources in a court of law.

Her comments came after Fiji TV televised documents which it said revealed Lieutenant Colonel Viliame Seruvukula was offered 156 thousand US dollars in cash to support the 2000 coup.

The Daily Post later revealed that a former Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, and the former police commissioner, Col Isikia Savua, were among those implicated in the coup in a police statement from Lt Col Seruvakula.

The newspaper's news editor, Iliesa Tora, says Fiji Media Council rules stipulate sources cannot be revealed.

"I believe that it's something that the legal people will have to look at if it comes to that. But at the moment whilst we know who gave us that statement, if we're asked we'll play by the same game that we've played over the years and protect our sources."

Mr Tora says he's unfazed by Mr Rabuka's threats to sue the newspaper.