21 Nov 2002

Fiji coup accomplice Silatolu denied bail

5:53 pm on 21 November 2002

One of the two Fiji coup accomplices still facing a charge of treason, Timoci Silatolu, has been denied bail.

Radio Fiji says Justice Andrew Wilson has ruled that the Bail Act 2000 has not come into effect.

According to the Bail Act, it will only come into effect when the minister responsible announces the date of commencement.

Justice Wilson said such a date is not known yet.

The new law, passed by parliament two months ago, allows people awaiting trial who have been in custody for more than two years to seek bail at the discretion of the court.

Silatolu's lawyer, Sevuloni Valenitabua, had applied for bail for his client based on the provision of the new bill, saying it had already been passed in parliament.

Silatolu's treason trail as well as that of his fellow coup accomplice, Josefa Nata, will begin on Tuesday.

Silatolu was named prime minister in the coup front man George Speight's failed administration while Nata was his media advisor.