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

 

New Magistrate Takes Over Rebel Case

USP Pacific Journalism Online: http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/ USP Journalism on the Fiji crisis (UTS host): http://www.journalism.uts.edu.au/
USP Pasifik Nius stories on Scoop (NZ): http://www.scoop.co.nz/international.htm Have your say: http://www.TheGuestBook.com/vgbook/109497.gbook

By Matelita Ragogo Editor of Wansolwara © USP Journalism Programme

SUVA: A new magistrate with about three months' experience on the bench in the Fiji Islands, Laisa Laveti, will now preside over the case against coup leader George Speight and 12 other alleged plotters.

Chief magistrate Salesi Temo today disqualified himself from presiding over the counts which the 13 men are jointly charged with.

He took this step as the last accused, Joji Bakoso, is a relative of Temo. The chief magistrate had disqualified himself from a previous a case in which Bakoso was accused of being in possession of arms earlier this year.

The office of the Director of Prosecutions had lodged an application two weeks ago seeking the disqualification of Temo. This was supported by an affidavit by state prosecution officer Wilisoni Kurisaqila.

A decision on whether the men should be allowed bail has been deferred and will now be decided upon by Ms Laveti.

However, Temo will preside over the treason charge proceedings because Bakoso is not charged with treason along with the remaining accused.

"It would not be proper for me to preside in this case ... a fair-minded and informed observer might reasonably apprehend or suspect that I might prejudge the case because of Joji Bakoso,'' Temo said.

"The three counts of treason, conspiracy to commit treason and misprison to treason will be dealt with according to law by this court. I understand that [Mr Bakoso] is not an accused in this matter.''

Temo also ruled that Bakoso's case would not be severed or would he appear before separate hearing to save the court's time and taxpayers' money.

"The issues concerning the validity or otherwise of the Immunity Decree 18 of 2000 and the bail matter will be considered by [Ms Laveti],'' Temo said.

The prosecution office now has one week to serve documents on the defence counsel over the three treason charges against the rebels who will now enter their fourth week on their island prison, Nukulau Island.

The accused rebels will reappear on August 25.

+++niuswire

This document is for educational and research use only. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright source before reprinting. PASIFIK NIUS service is provided by the niusedita via the Journalism Program, University of the South Pacific. Please acknowledge Pasifik Nius: niusedita@pactok.net.au http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/nius/index.html


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Timor-Leste: UN Agencies Support Response In Wake Of Deadly Floods

United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste are supporting response efforts, as floods and landslides left widespread damage across the country, including in the capital, Dili. According to media reports, at least 21 people died in the country and many ... More>>

Myanmar: Stop ‘Widespread Violence’ Against Children, UN Officials Urge

Senior United Nations officials on Thursday strongly condemned the ongoing violence by Myanmar’s security forces against civilians, including children, as the members of the Security Council expressed alarm at the rapidly deteriorating situation in ... More>>

COVID-19 Origins Report Inconclusive: We Must ‘Leave No Stone Unturned’ – WHO Chief

The report from a team of international scientists assembled by the World Health Organization (WHO) to examine how COVID-19 first spread to humans was published on Tuesday, and was described by the UN health agency’s chief as a welcome start, ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


Department Of Global Communications: UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ Message For World Health Day 2021

5 APRIL 2021 As COVID-19 Reveals Immoral Inequities in Health System, Secretary-General Observance Message Calls for Applying Policies, Assigning Resources to Ensure Everyone Thrives Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for World ... More>>


Global Development: Responding To COVID-19 Pandemic, Young People Advocate For Bold Solutions

From climate action to addressing inequalities and building peace, youth leaders scale up efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 7 to 8 April 2021 Follow on UN Web TV Youth leaders, activists and youth-led organizations around the world ... More>>

SDG Action Awards: Winners Announced

Mobilizing, inspiring, and connecting individuals around the globe to #TurnItAround for people and planet Bonn, Germany, 25 March - The 2020 SDG Action Awards Ceremony, which took place on 25 March as a part of the fifth SDG Global Festival of Action ... More>>