1 Mar 2006

Two Fiji coup convicts appeal against life sentences for treason

11:32 am on 1 March 2006

Fiji coup convicts Timoci Silatolu and Josefa Nata are appealing their life sentence for treason.

Radio Legend reports that Silatolu and Nata are claiming that the assessors in their High Court trial were confused by the lack of direction from the presiding judge, Justice Andrew Wilson.

Their lawyer, Abhay Singh, has told the Fiji Court of Appeal that Justice Wilson was politically biased in his summing up of their case.

Mr Singh claimed the summing up was lengthy and confusing to the assessors and was targetted to assist the prosecution.

Mr Singh claimed Justice Wilson used words which could have stirred emotions among the assessors who were also victims of the May 2000 coup.

He claimed the summing up of the trial contained case laws and legal jargon which could not have been understood by lay assessors but would further confuse them.

Silatolu and Nata have also claimed their defence lawyers were incompetent and negligent while handling the case.

The appeal hearing continues today.