4 Apr 2018

Claim Australia complicit in political prosecution on Nauru

12:37 pm on 4 April 2018

A former president of Nauru says Australia is 'complicit in a political prosecution'.

Former Nauru president Sprent Dabwido

Former Nauru president Sprent Dabwido Photo: supplied

This comes after Nauru ended appeals to the Australia High Court despite not having legislation in place for a new local court of appeal.

Critics said this denied people their basic legal right to appeal and was aimed at the 19 people facing charges over an anti-government protest three years ago.

The first impact of this came on Tuesday when three Nauruans wanting to appeal their sentences were turned away from the Australian High Court registry in Sydney.

Former president Sprent Dabwido said this placed the three in a 'bizarre legal no man's land.'

He said the Australian government was complicit because the defence lawyers were not told the decision to end access had been made in December last year and that the registry staff 'had been instructed weeks ago not to accept any more Nauru appeals'.

Mr Dabwido also said the Australian High Commission on Nauru had refused to speak on the issue, while Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had publicly backed the move by the Nauru government.

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