3 Nov 2004

Media barred from Seniloli appeal case

11:51 am on 3 November 2004

Fiji police yesterday barred the media from covering jailed vice president Seniloli's appeal case.

This was despite there being no instructions to do so from judicial authorities.

The Fiji Times reports that police outside the court told journalists that only relatives of Seniloli, deputy Speaker, Vakalalabure and three others would be allowed inside.

The chief registrar of the court, Musuka Tabete, is quoted as saying police do not run the courts and approval to enter is given by the presiding judge.

Senior Superintendent Jahir Khan says when the appeal case resumes today, police would try to provide space for the media inside the courtroom.

The appeal is being heard by the president of the Appeal court, Justice Gordon Ward, and two senior overseas judges, Justice James Wood and Justice Peter George Penlington.

Seniloli's lawyers are alleging legal errors, bias and irregularities in the original conviction.