19 Mar 2003

Verdict imminent in Fiji treason trial

6:35 am on 19 March 2003

A verdict in the treason trial of Fiji coup accomplices Josefa Nata and Timoci Silatolu is now imminent.

The judge hearing the case, Justice Andrew Wilson, will finish his summing up for the five assessors by about mid-day today.

They will then retire and consider whether the two accused are guilty or innocent.

Justice Wilson has told the assessors to take into account the inconsistencies in the statements of the defence witnesses and the accused.

He said of the many lies told to the court, many have been told out of fear and some to protect other people.

When Justice Wilson finishes his summing up, the assessors will be isolated for as long as necessary for them to reach a verdict.