10 Dec 2007

Fijians facing charges of raising an illegal army in PNG reported out of custody

7:17 pm on 10 December 2007

The Papua New Guinea Government has reportedly decided that four former Fiji soldiers awaiting trial in Bougainville on charges of establishing an illegal army, will be released from custody.

Pacific Magazine reports that the four, now held in jail in Buka, will be released into the custody of the Fiji High Commission in Port Moresby.

Jolame Gukirewa, Manasa Dumuloto, Kalivati Dau and Aliki Moroca have been in custody since February on charges they allegedly trained an illegal army in Bougainville's south for money scheme operator, Noah Musingku.

Their case is due back in court next month but the magazine reports it is not known if the hearing will now proceed.

It quotes lawyers expressing concern that the government's decision undermines the integrity of the judiciary.