Court denies release

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Daniel Kim outside the Lautoka High Court. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

The High Court in Lautoka has denied two Grace Road directors, Daniel Kim and Sung Jin Li release from detention pending the Court of Appeal judgement on their habeas corpus application.

Justice Anare Tuilevuka delivered this ruling yesterday and stated that the Constitutional issues raised by the defence lawyers were best left for Justice Seneviratne to consider in the constitutional redress application pending before him.

Justice Tuilevuka declined the release application and ordered the defendants to pay $1500 to the Minister for Home Affairs.

The judge said in his view the applicability of the ouster clauses, which is sub judice before the Fiji Court of Appeal, be left alone for now.

Judge Tuilevuka said a constitutional balancing exercise must be carried out and determined within the values that underpin a democratic society based on human dignity, equality, and freedom.

During the hearing, Solicitor General Ropate Green indicated that the habeas corpus proceeding was the appropriate forum to deal with the issue of the lawfulness or otherwise of the duo’s detention.

Defence lawyer Ronald Gordon, in his earlier submission, noted that Mr Kim, while in custody, was kept in a prison facility, made to wear prison clothes and eat food that prisoners eat.

Mr Gordon also informed the court that at times, his client was kept in solitary confinement.

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