Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Disobedience charged laid against Church Executives

Fiji Village News - 21 April 2010

Methodist Church Executives in court today

An additional charge has been laid against seven of the twenty seven Methodist church ministers and church Executives who are charged with allegedly breaching the Public Emergency Regulation.

The new amended count of Conspiracy to effect an unlawful purpose namely the disobedience of a lawful command has been laid against Reverend Ame Tugawe, Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu, Rev. Sakaraia Koli, Rev. Apete Toko, Rev. Kalivati Ravoka as well as church executives: Ratu Inoke Seniloli and Livai Tuisaravere.

It is alleged that the seven between the 12th and the 22nd of July last year conspired together in Suva and in Rewa to breach a direct order by the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama in which they were told not to have the 2009 Annual Methodist Conference in Lomanikoro in Rewa.

The seven now face four counts of allegedly breaching the PER and are expected to take on a plea on the 25th of May.

It is alleged that on the 17th of July last year, Reverend Tugawe and Rev. Waqairatu organized a meeting with Rev Kanailagi and Rev. Lasaro which was in direct contravention of the strict conditions placed in the PER.

The other 23 church ministers and executives are facing the charge of participating in the meeting called by the four executives.

Meanwhile, the 27 accused all appeared in Court today and were informed that their case will now be held in one trial starting on the 25th of May.

Magistrate Thushara Rajasinghe was informed that the 27 had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charges and as a result the matter will be heard later to allow for state lawyer, Filimoni Rogoyawa to be able to file all the paperwork with regards to the new count laid against the other accused.

The Suva Magistrates Court also heard that the 10th accused Church Vice President, Wame Gavidi is away overseas and will appear separately on the 14th of May.

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