World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


FIJI: I was just PR consultant: Joe Nata

* Pacific Media Watch Online - check the website for archive and links:
* Post a comment on PMW's Right of Reply:

Earlier story: PMW3527

SUVA (Pacific Media Watch): Former Fiji journalist and journalism trainer Josefa Nata is pleading not guilty to treason, saying he was simply asked to be a public relations consultant, the Daily Post reports.

Nata and politician Ratu Timoci Silatolu were the only two of 13 people charged with treason over coup leader George Speight's storming of Parliament on 19 May 2000 who pleaded not guilty.

They have asked for a trial, pleading not guilty to charges of treason in the High Court in Suva.

The start of their trial has been set for March 11. Speight has a life sentence while 10 others have been given sentences ranging between 18 months and three years.

Director of Legal Aid Makereta Waqavonovono has written to the Deputy Public Prosecutor's Office to request that the prosecution against Nata be withdrawn.

Legal Aid Commission lawyers are representing Nata.

Nata is former coordinator of the Fiji Journalism Institute, a training body run by the Fiji Islands Media Association (FIMA) until it closed in 1999 amid allegations over funding.

He is adamant that he was not responsible for acts of treason.

Nata maintains he was only called into Parliament after George Speight and his rebels had taken the Mahendra Chaudhry-led government hostage. The captive cabinet was held hostage for 56 days.

Ms Waqavonovono said Nata's involvement was minimal in that he was requested to act as a public relations consultant for the group at the height of the takeover.



PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media, the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, and Pactok Communications, in Sydney and Port Moresby.

(c)1996-2002 Copyright - All rights reserved.

Items are provided solely for review purposes as a non-profit educational service. Copyright remains the property of the original producers as indicated. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright owner for any publishing. Copyright owners not wishing their materials to be posted by PMW please contact us. The views expressed in material listed by PMW are not necessarily the views of PMW or its members.

Recipients should rely on their own inquiries before making decisions based on material listed in PMW. Please copy appeals to PMW and acknowledge source.

For further information, inquiries about joining the Pacific Media Watch

listserve, articles for publication, and giving feedback contact Pacific

Media Watch at: E-mail: Fax: (+679) 30 5779 or (+612) 9660 1804 Mail: PO Box 9, Annandale, NSW 2038, Australia or, c/o Journalism, PO Box 1168, Suva, Fiji New website:

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


North Korea: NZ Denounces Missile Test

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has denounced North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test. The test, which took place this morning, is North Korea’s third test flight of an inter-continental ballistic missile. More>>


Gordon Campbell: Zimbabwe - Meet The New Bosses

At 75, Mnangagwa is not exactly what you’d call a new broom. As many observers have pointed out, his track record has been one of unswerving dedication to Mugabe ever since the days of anti-colonial insurgency... To these guys, things had to change in Zimbabwe, so that things could remain the same. More>>