26 Nov 2002

Fiji treason trial scheduled to open today

9:13 am on 26 November 2002

The treason trial of the two remaining Fiji coup accomplices is scheduled to open in the Suva High Court today.

Timoci Silatolu and Josefa Nata were the only two of the twelve people originally charged with treason who pleaded not guilty when they were brought to court earlier this year.

The coup front man George Speight and his group pleaded guilty, with Speight being sentenced to life and others to lesser terms.

Silatolu's and Nata's trial has been repeatedly delayed this year because of legal challenges over whether the crime of treason existed in Fiji and over state provision of their defence.

Silatolu was appointed prime minister in Speight's failed post-coup administration while Nata was his media advisor.

An Australian judge, Justice Andrew Wilson, will hear the trial.