FIJI COUP LEADER SPEIGHT REFUSED BAIL

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By Sean Dorney

SUVA, Fiji Islands (August 6, 2000 – Radio Australia)---Fiji's chief magistrate told the military that it is the courts' role – and not the military’s role - to determine punishment in Fiji.

The magistrate's comment came after George Speight's defense lawyer argued that the coup leader should be given bail because he wasn't safe in military detention.

George Speight's military adviser, Illisoni Ligari, appeared in court with a bandage around his head. Another defendant had an arm in a sling.

Their lawyer said he'd be prepared to call nine of the 13 defendants to give evidence on how they'd allegedly been assaulted on their way to their prison island a week ago Saturday.

In remanding them to spend another six days under military detention on Nukulau Island, Chief Magistrate Sailesi Temo said everyone in Fiji had the right to be treated with humanity and dignity.

He called on the police and the military to respect the rights of the men before him.

For additional reports from Radio Australia/Pacific Beat, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia/Pacific Beat.

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