20 Nov 2002

Fiji lawyer for treason accused expects bail decision tomorrow

6:00 pm on 20 November 2002

The lawyer in Fiji for Timoci Silatolu, who's accused of being an accomplice in the 2000 coup, says a decision will be made tomorrow on whether his client will be granted bail.

Sevaloni Valenitabua says Silatolu has been incarcerated for 27 months on remand and he wants to be freed in order to be able to concentrate on his trial.

The bail application for Silatolu, who was sworn in by coup front -man George Speight's gang as prime minister on the first day of the coup, is being opposed by the state on national security grounds.

Mr Valenitabua says he applied for bail on constitutional grounds.

"He has constitutional rights to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and we've got case law in Fiji which supports the proposition that a person has got to be released on bail, on conditions under that provision that the accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty."

The treason trial of both Timoci Silatolu and Josefa Nata is set for next Tuesday.