Journalists Irfaad Olitte and Deven Anacootee who were pronounced guilty for having been on the grounds of an allegedly restricted-zone kalimaye have had the judgement overturned.
Photo credits: l’Express.mu
Two ex-reporters of the Défi Media Groupe, Irfaad Olitte and Deven Anacootee, had been judged guilty in the court of Curepipe in February 2013 for having penetrated a zone that was claimed to be forbidden to the public situated close to the residence of the ex-PM, Navin Ramgoolam, at St-Paul. They allegedly intended to investigate around that particular zone where a “kalimaye” was present. The judgement has, however, been overturned at the court of appeal.
Senior Puisne Judge p.i. Saheeda Peeroo and Judge Hajee Aboula stated that the police did not define the zone as a forbidden one. Therefore, the two reporters could not have known that they had trespassed. They have also explained that a forbidden zone would imply that the public’s movement in a religious building is restricted which contradicts what is dictated by the law.
When pronounced guilty, the two reporters were released on bail. They had denied the charges levelled against them, arguing that they were not aware of the zone being a forbidden one since there was no sign that indicated such.
As for the kalimaye, it was closed years ago, in 2009, because of its proximity to the ex-PM’s house. It has now been reopened in June 2015.