11 Nov 2008

Attorney General's Office in Fiji not satisfied with apology

9:07 am on 11 November 2008

The Attorney General's Office is not satisfied with an apology by the Fiji Times newspaper over its publication of a letter that criticised the High Court's validation of the 2006 military coup in a contemptuous manner.

Fiji Live online says the Solicitor General, Christopher Pryde, told the High Court yesterday morning the apology offered by Fiji Times was not what they expected.

Outside court, he said that he would be making submissions in support of a jail term for Fiji Times Editor Netani Rika and Publisher Rex Gardner and a hefty fine for The Fiji Times.

The High Court judge Justice Thomas Hickie heard mention of the ex parte order from the interim Government, requesting the presiding judge consider a penalty for the newspaper.

He has given the Attorney General's office 14 days to make submissions on the appropriate sentence to be given to Mr Rika and Mr Gardner.

Last week, the Fiji Times printed a front page admission it was in contempt when it published a letter from an Australian correspondent.

The arguments on the submission will be heard on December 4.