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Article

28 Apr 2022

Author:
Lice Movono, Radio New Zealand

Fiji: High Court orders Freesoul Limited to pay $FJ1million to rehabilitate damaged marine environment

"Malolo developers given huge fine by Fiji court", 28 April 2022

A landmark case in Fiji [...] as the High Court in its capital Suva issued what is the country's first environmental crime sentence.

Controversial Chinese Resort Development company Freesoul Limited was fined $FJ1million for breaching two counts of Fiji's Environmental Management Act.

[...]

The company was issued a prohibition notice in June of 2018 after neighbours and indigenous landowners shed light of extensive environmental damage it was causing on the coast at Malolo Island.

[...]

The case was referred to High Court Judge justice Daniel Gounder who ordered Freesoul pay the DOE $FJ1million for the rehabilitation of the marine environment damage.

Justice Gounder said he was unable to issue a custodial sentence given the EMA provides for jail terms for persons not corporations.

"This case is about environment, criminal responsibility and punishment," Justice Gounder said.

"Although the offending is not the most serious type, the offenders culpability is high."

[...]

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