4 May 2017

Jailed Nauru protestors to appeal Aust High Court

9:16 am on 4 May 2017

Three Nauru men whose jail sentences were dramatically increased this week plan to appeal to the High Court of Australia.

The three, John Jeremiah, Job Cecil and Josh Kepae had pleaded guilty last year to offences such as rioting, disturbing the peace and assault during an anti-government protest that happened at parliament in June 2015.

The protest was over the suspension of five opposition MPs from parliament a year earlier.

Crowds gather in Nauru

Scenes from the protest in 2015 Photo: supplied/ Shane Bazzi

They were sentenced in December to terms of three or six months but they now have to serve terms of up to 22 months after the state appealed the leniency of the sentences.

The men are being represented by a team of five Australian lawyers who are also battling to overturn similar charges against another 18 people, including three former MPs - one of whom is a former president of Nauru.

The lawyers have been seeking a temporary stay on the trial, saying they doubt their chances of getting a fair trial.

An appeal application to the High Court, Nauru's highest court of appeal, is expected by the end of the week.

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