1 Jun 2002

Fiji coup accomplices Nata and Silatolu's appeal against treason suspended

7:07 am on 1 June 2002

The Fiji Court of Apjpeal has suspended an appeal by coup accomplices Timoci Silatolu and Joesfa Nata against the treason charges they are facing until their High Court Trial is completed.

Radio Fiji says the president of the Appeal court, Justice Jai Ram Reddy handed down the decision on Friday after an application from the state prosecutions office which argued that the trial is still pending.

The defendants had asked the Appeal Court to review High Court judge, Justice Andrew Wilson's ruling that the treason charge still applies in Fiji.

Justice Reddy ruled that Nata and Silatolu can only lodge an appeal after they are tried for treason.

Meanwhile in the High Court, Justice Wilson ruled that the immunity decree issued by the military which attempted to pardon George Speight and his accomplices is invalid.

Justice Wilson said the granting of immunity by the head of the then military government, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, was wrong under the constitution.

He said only the president can grant a pardon and that only after they are convicted.

Lawyers for Nata and Silatolu had argued that they should not be charged with treason because they were covered by the immunity decree.

Nata and Silatolu are expected to plead to the treason charge next week.