13 Dec 2002

Fiji treason trial adjourned until January 14th

4:37 pm on 13 December 2002

The treason trial of Fiji coup accomplices, Timoci Silatolu and Josefa Nata, has been adjourned until January the 14th,

This follows a closed door hearing in chambers before presiding judge, Justice Andrew Wilson, in which lawyers sought clarification about evidence of phone calls made by the coup front man George Speight to various people.

The month-long adjournment is to allow for the normal judicial holidays in the Christmas and New Year period.

Meanwhile, Fiji police say they are having difficulty in getting evidence to charge prominent people and high chiefs implicated in the coup during the trial.

The Fiji Times quotes the director of the criminal investigations department, Emosi Vunisa, as saying treason and misprision of treason are new offences and they are having difficulty because of evidence.

The director ofg public prosecutions, Jo Naigulevu, says they have discussed the issue with the police and if there is evidence, the suspects will be charged.

But critics claim the evidence of these people's involvement has been paraded on the television screen every night and it is preposterous to claim there is no evidence.

The director of the Citizens Constitutional Forum, the Reverend Akuila Yabaki, says the truth must be told and all those implicated must be brought to justice.