21 Nov 2002

Fiji lawyer for treason accused expects bail decision today

11:56 am on 21 November 2002

A decision on whether to grant bail to coup accomplice, Timoci Silatolu, will be handed down today in Fiji's high court by Justice Andrew Wilson.

His lawyer, Sevaloni Valenitabua, says his client has been in jail on remand for a long time.

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

Mr Valenitabua says there's case law in Fiji that a person should be released, with conditions, on the assumption that they're innocent until proven guilty.

"We based our application on the constitution. He has been in jail for twenty-seven months - on remand that is. he just wants to get out and prepare properly for his trial. That's all."

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