11 Jul 2015

More in custody in wake of Nauru protest

6:37 am on 11 July 2015

Two Nauru opposition MPs will remain in custody after another failed bail court hearing and another eight men are in custody on protest-related charges.

The MPs, former president Sprent Dabwido and Squire Jeremiah, have been charged in connection with an anti-government protest outside the parliament last month.

They are to appear in court again on Monday.

The men do not have access to a lawyer on the island and a pleader, who provides some legal support, is also not presently there.

The prosecution has previously called for the men to have their families prepare the written material needed to make their cases for bail.

The MPs want a lawyer allowed in from Australia but the Nauru Government continues to refuse him a visa.

The men say they want the Supreme Court to rule on their right to have a lawyer of their choice.

The Nauru government has confirmed reports that eight other men have been remanded in custody on protest-related charges.

The men are from the MPs' Meneng district.

The President of Nauru, Baron Waqa, told media on Friday in Australia that a lot of the reporting on Nauru ignores the reforms of the island's legal system, which he claims have made it more accountable and independent than it has ever been.

The Governments of Australia and New Zealand have been raising concerns about the rule of law with Mr Waqa at the meeting of Pacific Forum foreign ministers being held in Sydney.

Former Nauru president Sprent Dabwido

Former Nauru president Sprent Dabwido Photo: supplied