Political Representative Charged for Religious Vilification

Media Team   |   24 Aug 2018

A representative of a political party was produced in the Ba Magistrates Court today on electoral offences.

National Federation Party (NFP) Provisional Candidate, Mr. Pradeep Chandra was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) with one (1) count of “Racial or Religious Vilification” under the Electoral Act of 2014.

It is alleged that he made statements encouraging and inciting hatred toward the Muslim community in Fiji in June and July this year.

FICAC State counsel Mr. Sam Savumiramira informed the court that first phase disclosures was served and that there was no objection to bail.

Magistrate Mr. Samuela Qica granted Mr. Chandra bail with a bail bond of $800FJD, one (1) surety and is to report to the nearest police station twice a month.

He was also instructed not to reoffend and interfere with prosecution witnesses.

Defence counsel Mr. Navin Padarath represented Mr. Chandra.

The matter was adjourned to 22 October 2018 for second phase disclosures to be served.

FICAC encourages members of the public to be vigilant about politically motivated speeches which incite hatred or violence against any person, group of people or against any race or religion.

The public is reminded that engaging in any of the above practices is unlawful and should they come across this at any instance, they should lodge a complaint with FICAC by calling toll-free line 1322.

Inciting hatred towards race or religion is a detestable form of campaigning and it is not in the public or national interest to take such statements lightly.

FICAC reminds all political parties and aspiring candidates to refrain from this type of campaigning as severe actions will be taken against individuals doing this.