State can call environment officers as witnesses and also use their reports in Freesoul's trial

State can call environment officers as witnesses and also use their reports in Freesoul's trial

By Priteshni Nand
Wednesday 04/11/2020
Freesoul Real Estate - [File Photo]

Suva Magistrate, Seini Puamau has denied the application of defence to exclude the Ministry of Environment's report in the trial of Freesoul Real Estate Development (Fiji) PTE Ltd.

While delivering her ruling through Skype from Lautoka, Magistrate Puamau says the State is allowed to call environment officers as witnesses and also use their reports.

The trial will begin on 18 November.

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

Under the Environment Management Act 2005, if convicted, the company and its directors face fines of up to $750,000 or a term of imprisonment of up to 10 years, or both.

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