2 Nov 2004

Details of appeal by jailed Fiji vice president revealed

5:03 pm on 2 November 2004

Details of the jailed Fiji vice president Seniloli's appeal against his 4-year jail sentence for being sworn in as the usurper president during the coup have been revealed by one of the defence lawyers.

Radio Legend reports that police barred the media from this morning's proceedings because of a misunderstanding.

But outside the court, defence counsel Abhay Singh told the radio station that their main ground of appeal is that High Court judge, Justice Nazhat Shameem, made many errors during the course of the trial.

Mr Singh says all the evidence presented during the trial was based on the treason charge which had to be brought within a time limit of two years after the offence.

Instead, the charges were brought under the Public Order Act which was a general piece of legislation.

As well, Mr Singh says necessary adjournments were not granted to another defendant, the jailed deputy Speaker of parliament Vakalabure, to ensure that he had a defence counsel.

Radio Legend says it has been informed that the lawyers are also expected to make a submission that 65-year old Seniloli should be released due to ill health.

Judicial authorities have ordered that the rest of the appeal case be open to the public.