25 Jul 2018

Nauru 19 seek to throw out court case

9:43 am on 25 July 2018

Nineteen Nauruans facing charges over a protest three years ago are trying to have their case thrown out of court through a permanent stay on the charges.

The long delayed trial for the group, which staged an anti-government protest outside Nauru's Parliament in 2015, was meant to start on Monday but it did not go ahead.

Crowds gather in Nauru

Crowds gather in Nauru Photo: supplied/ Shane Bazzi

The government had failed to comply with a Supreme Court Order to make a substantial payment to the defendants' lawyers.

A spokesman for the Nauru 19, Mathew Batsiua, said they had been hoping the government would comply.

"So that the pre-trial and the trial can proceed as scheduled. But all that has come to a stop now as the payment from the government was not forthcoming," Mr Batsiua said.

"So we have instructed our lawyers and they have made a submission to the courts for the whole matter to be stayed, given the non-compliance and given the non- payment."

The court would hear the application for a stay order on July 30, Mr Batsiua said.

The Nauru government has indicated it will appeal if the order is granted.

Yesterday, the government announced it had established the island's own appeal court after it ended links with the Australian High Court earlier this year.

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