15 Nov 2002

Trial date set for Fiji treason trial

4:21 pm on 15 November 2002

The Suva High Court has ruled that it will not entertain any more delay in the treason trial of the May 2000 coup accomplices, Timoci Silatolu and Josefa Nata.

Radio Fiji reports that Justice Andrew Wilson has turned down an application by Silatolu to have his trial stayed until legal questions about who will provide his defence lawyer are determined in the Appeal Court.

Justice Wilson said it was in the interests of justice that the trial proceed without any further delay and set the 26th of this month for its start.

Meanwhile, the court will hear bail applications from Silatolu and Nata next Tuesday.

The applications have been made under the conntroversial new Social Justice Bill which allows accused to seek bail if they have been in custody for more than two years.

Silatolu was sworn in as a Minister in the coup front man George Speight's failed administration and Nata was his media spokesman.

Both men have pleaded not guilty to treason.