The verdict was handed down in the High Court at Suva. While the assessors' verdict was unanimous, Justice Thushara Rajasinghe could still find them guilty in a final judgement that will be delivered on Tuesday. The newspaper, its publisher Hank Arts, Editor-in-Chief Fred Wesley and the editor of the i-Taukei newspaper Nai Lalakai, Anare Ravula, were charged along with an opinion writer, Josaia Waqabaca.
The charges were filed following a government complaint that Mr Waqabaca's opinion column could incite feelings of ill-will and hositility towards the country's minority Muslim population.
The defence and human rights groups said the charges were a ploy by the government to intimidate the Fiji Times, which is regarded as one of the last bastions of independent media in the country.