27 Apr 2002

Fiji coup accomplice appeals validity of treason charge against him

9:03 am on 27 April 2002

Fiji coup accomplice, Josefa Nata, is appealing a High Court ruling that the treason charge against him is valid.

Nata's lawyer, the director of the state-funded Legal Aid Commission, Makareta Waqavonovono, claims Justice Andrew Wilson was wrong in interpreting the Penal Code using the laws of England.

She says Justice Wilson, who arrived from Australia earlier this year, failed to appreciate changes in Fiji laws which took place on independence and on the promulgation of the 1990 Constitution which was replaced in 1997.

Ms Waqavonovono claims the judge did not give reasons for rejecting her claim that the treason charge is no longer effective in Fiji.

No date has been set for the Appeal Court to hear her argument.

Nata remains in custody on Nukulau Island with the only other accomplice still facing a treason charge, Timoci Silatolu.