DPP

DPP’s Office disappointed with comments made by Magistrate Puamau in Freesoul Matter

DPP’s Office disappointed with comments made by Magistrate Puamau in Freesoul Matter

By Vijay Narayan
Wednesday 15/09/2021
[image: File]

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is disappointed with the comments made by Resident Magistrate Seini Puamau in the Freesoul sentencing hearing yesterday when it was reported by fijivillage that she stated that there is a history of miscommunication issues with the DPP’s office.

The DPP, Christopher Pryde says the Office of the DPP State Counsel are diligent in noting and attending all court matters when properly advised by the courts.

Pryde says it is unfortunate and regrettable that the resident magistrate chose to speak as she did without being in possession of all the facts.

The office says on 25th August, the ODPP State Counsel in carriage of this matter was informed via mobile phone from a Suva Magistrates’ Court registry clerk that the Freesoul matter would be called for sentence hearing via skype.

The Office of the DPP says the officer was also informed by the clerk that the Magistrates’ Court Registry would contact him again to confirm the date of the sentence hearing but this never happened.

It says there was no official notification of this matter to the ODPP Registry.

They also note that this matter was not listed in the weekly cause list for the Suva Magistrates’ Court.

The ODPP says their registry was only informed yesterday after 2pm that the Freesoul matter would be called for sentence hearing at 2.30pm in Magistrates’ Court 3.

The ODPP says it was not informed that there would not be any skype hearing.


Miscommunication leads to delay in the Freesoul case

By Shanil Singh
Tuesday 14/09/2021
Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Miscommunication led to a delay in court proceedings in the case against Freesoul Real Estate Development Limited.

The matter was supposed to be called for its sentence hearing today however DPP officer in carriage, Meli Vosawale was not present because he was not aware of the case.

Appearing on behalf of Vosawale, DPP lawyer Zenith Zunaid told the court that Vosawale had received a call from the Court Registry on 25th August that the matter will be called via Skype.

However Zunaid says they were not given any particular date as to when the case will be called.

Freesoul lawyer David Toganivalu told the court that the parties were informed by the registry two weeks ago and they got a call yesterday as well to test the Skype system.

Suva Magistrate Seini Puamau says the DPP’s Office has a history of miscommunication issues and she cannot believe that they were not notified about the case.

She says the DPP’s Office is given a multi-million dollar budget and it is unacceptable that they cannot make it to court despite a two week notice.

Puamau adds she the excuse given by the DPP’s Office is unacceptable.

Freesoul were found guilty of two counts of Undertaking Unauthorized Developments in April this year.

They were acquitted of one count of failure to comply with a prohibition notice.

The charges against Freesoul relate to the failure to comply with a Prohibition Notice issued by the Department of Environment in June 2018 and carrying out of resort development activity in Malolo without an approved Environmental Impact Assessment Report.

The sentence hearing will now be at 2.30pm tomorrow.


Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
IN DEPTH
Fiji continues to be affected by COVID-19
Contact tracing continues for most parts of Suva and Nausori. Mon 19th Apr Tue 20th Apr Wed 21st Apr Thu 22nd Apr Sat 24th Apr Sun ...
12 hours ago

Parliament passes proposed electoral law requiring people to use their birth certificate name to be registered as a voter
Bill also passed where any agency which receives applications or submissions will only be required to accept the name of an applicant as it appears on their birth certificate
5 days ago

258,000 people lived under the Basic Needs Poverty Line according to the 2019-20 Household Income and Expenditure Survey
Survey says almost one in five school aged children in Fiji are educationally deprived
13 days ago
FEATURE NEWS
Police investigate the discovery of the body of a taxi driver in Qiolevu, Sawani
Police are investigating the discovery of the body of a taxi driver in Qiolevu, Sawani. At this stage, Police can only confirm a case of interest f...
3 hours ago
LATEST NEWS
Digicel launches Unified Collaboration with Cisco Webex
Digicel has announced the launch of Digicel Unified Collaboration as a service with Webex today. Digicel Fiji’s CEO, Farid Mohammed says they ...
1 hour ago

147 new cases of HIV/AIDS recorded last year which includes 13 children
13 children were among the 147 cases of HIV/AIDS that was recorded in Fiji last year which is the highest ever recorded in the country since ...
3 hours ago

FNU announces phased reopening of campuses
Fiji National University’s Vice-Chancellor, Toby Wilkinson says they will be implementing a phased reopening of their campuses from next Monday and ...
3 hours ago

Govt stands strong in its commitment to ensure tourism remains a pillar for socio-economic prosperity and inclusivity – Koya
Minister for Tourism Faiyaz Koya says government stands strong in its commitment to ensure tourism remains a pillar for socio-economic prosperity, ...
3 hours ago

Fiji Airports ramps up its Nadi International Airport operations in anticipation of the reopening of our borders in December
Fiji Airports is ramping up its Nadi International Airport operations in expectation and anticipation of the reopening of our borders. Fiji ...
3 hours ago

TOP