22 Nov 2002

Fiji bail act fails to apply to Silatolu

12:44 pm on 22 November 2002

An announcement by Fiji's attorney general and minister for justice has come too late to assist a former associate of coup front man, George Speight.

Mr Qoriniasi Bale announced yesterday that a new Bail Act passed by parliament two months ago will come into effect on the 15th of next month.

Shortly before Mr Bale's announcement, High Court judge, Justice Andrew Wilson, refused a bail application from alleged coup accomplice, Timoci Silatolu, who, together with Josefa Nata, faces a charge of treason.

The new law, passed by parliament two months ago, allows people awaiting trial who have been in custody for more than two years to seek bail at the discretion of the court.

Silatolu's lawyer, Sevuloni Valenitabua, had applied for bail for his client based on the provision of the new bill.

Silatolu's treason trail as well as that of Josefa Nata, will begin on Tuesday.

Silatolu was named prime minister in the coup front man George Speight's failed administration while Nata was his media advisor.