7 Dec 2002

Fiji Treason trial closed to media and public

10:05 am on 7 December 2002

Sections of the treason trial of two Fiji coup accomplices, Timoci Silatolu and Josefa Nata, have been closed to the media and the public.

Fiji TV quotes the trial judge, Andrew Wilson, as saying he had made the decision in the interests of justice because the identities of witnesses must be withheld for their safety.

Justice Wilson said it should not have been necessary to hold the trial behind closed doors but he had to.

Meanwhile, the misprision of treason trial against nationalist politician, Viliame Savu, is continuing with Justice Anthony Gates refusing to grant a request for name suppression or ban the media from the court.

Justice Gates said court proceedings are conducted as far as possible in an open manner for all to see, hear and read about and judge whether justice has been done.

Savu has admitted having prior knowledge of the coup but said he did not inform authorities because indigenous Fijians did not like the Chaudhry government.