29 Jan 2010

New Fiji decree restricts crime reporting

1:56 pm on 29 January 2010

Fiji's new Criminal Procedure Decree is to come into effect on Monday which will restrict the reporting of criminal cases.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Office says the decree is intended to avoid a trial by media.

The decree will prohibit reports of any transfer of proceedings.

It states that the media can only report on the name of the magistrate hearing the case, the identity of the court, the name, age and occupation of the accused, the accused person's lawyer and where the accused has been remanded or bailed.

Media reports can also include a summary of the offence with which the accused has been charged with.

Media organisation or journalist found to have violated the decree can be fined 5,000 US dollars.