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Four former politicians due in court January 25

By Nasik Swami SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Jan. 4, 2012) – Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili this morning granted bail to four former politicians charged with urging political violence in the country.

Businesswoman Mere Samisoni, Mataiasi Ragigia, Semesi Lasike and Apete Vereti have been released on $5,000 surety bail under strict conditions.

Outlining the bail conditions, Ratuvili said all the four accused are not allowed to change their address, surrender all their travel documents, report to their nearest police station between 8.00am to 6.00pm daily, remain inside their house between 7.00pm to 6.00am and not to interfere with any state witnesses.

The court has also ordered them not to interact with each other and their names put on the watch list.

Both counsels have been told to file their disclosures before January 25.

Ratuvili said the court will decide whether the charges will be read out in court.

The matter will be called for mention on January 25.

[PIR editor’s note: Samisoni was arrested before the coming of the New Year on charges leveled at her and the three others consisting of conspiring to overthrow the Fijian government by violence in 2010. The government’s lawyer had requested the court deny bail on grounds that the case involved the accused 'planned to cause civil unrest by torching or burning down business-houses."]

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