4 Jan 2012

Lawyer for jailed critic of Fiji regime expects bail decision today

5:42 am on 4 January 2012

The New Zealand QC Peter Williams, who is in Fiji defending a jailed critic of the Fiji regime, expects to know if she will be bailed today.

Mere Samisoni, Mataiasi Ragigia, Apete Vereti and Semisi Lasike were seized by the military on Friday and charged with inciting violence against the interim government.

Mr Williams applied for bail for Dr Samisoni yesterday and expects a decision will be made on her release this morning.

He says the Crown has indicated in court it's opposing bail because of what it considers the seriousness of the offence.

"The allegation is that she was party to an arrangement where by there was going to be some sort of public unrest, these are only allegations that there was going to be some unlawful acts which were to encourage violence against the government."

Peter Williams says the 73-year-old has been kept in terrible conditions in jail and has been interrogated every day.

The interim regime, which came to power in a military coup in 2006, has initiated several other cases of alleged sedition, including one against a former military land force commander, Pita Driti, and one against a leading unionist, Daniel Urai.