4 Jan 2012

Fiji conspiracy accused granted bail

12:13 pm on 4 January 2012

A Fiji court has granted bail to four former politicians accused of conspiracy.

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

Dr Samisoni's lawyer, New Zealander Peter Williams, QC, said the 73-year-old businesswoman has been locked up in terrible conditions in sweltering heat with no air-conditioning.

"She has been through five days of being in custody and being interrogated everyday, without a lawyer present.

"And to my mind she has come through that remarkably well. (She has) a very strong will and a lot of grit and determination."

Mr Williams says Dr Samisoni was released on Wednesday morning on strict bail conditions, including a nightly curfew and reporting to police twice a week. The others have been bailed on similar conditions.

He says the next step is to assess copies of statements from the prosecution and make a decision over the next few days on how to proceed with the defence case.

He says Dr Samisoni is coping very well considering the ordeal she has been through and will reappear in court on 25 January.