4 Dec 2008

Fiji regime pushes for big fines and jail terms for newspaper editors and publishers

4:16 pm on 4 December 2008

Fiji's interim government has asked the high court to jail the publishers and editors of two of the country's daily newspapers for six months each and impose a fine of more than half a million US dollars for publishing a letter that criticised the High Court's validation of the 2006 military coup.

The website Fijilive reports that the Fiji Times and Daily Post newspapers have admitted guilt and published admissions of contempt of court when they published a letter to the editor from a person said to be residing in Australia.

But the interim Attorney-General is not satisfied and maintains that fines be paid and the jail terms imposed.

The Fiji Times' lawyer Richard Naidu has asked for a more lenient fine and sentence for its Editor-in-Chief Netani Rika and Publisher Rex Gardner.

The Daily Post matter will be called again in April when the court will hear mitigation from the Daily Post.