17 Jul 2015

Nauru Speaker chastised over court appearance

7:23 am on 17 July 2015

A former Resident Magistrate on Nauru Peter Law says a court on the island may have been placed under pressure by the Speaker of Parliament during a bail hearing for two suspended MPs.

no caption

Photo: 123RF

Mr Law says he understands the Speaker Ludwig Scotty sat at the back of the court room during the MPs' bail hearing two weeks ago.

The MPs Squire Jeremiah and Sprent Dabwido are facing criminal charges following protests on the island nearly a month ago.

Mr Law says Mr Scotty's appearance is out of line as he was responsible for suspending the MPs.

"The appearance of the Speaker in the court room would have been very intimidating for the magistrate. It's most unusual and it really indicates a real lack of understanding of the separation of powers between the parliament and the court."

Peter Law says he is perplexed as to why bail has not already been granted.

The MPs are due in court again on Friday.

They are among five Nauru MPs who are the focus of international attention amid concerns over alleged rights violations on the island.