Hearing Dates Set For Nauru Asylum Seeker Rioters

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39 defendants plead not guilty to charges, trials to start in April

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 18, 2014) – Nauru's Resident Magistrate has set hearing dates for various asylum seekers charged after riots at the Australian-run asylum seeker detention centre last July.

All 39 defendants who were present in court on Tuesday pleaded not guilty two charges of riot and unlawful assembly.

Three of the defendants were also charged with common assault, to which they pleaded not guilty.

Trial dates have been set for April, May, July and August where the asylum seekers will be represented by lawyers Vinci Clodumar and John Rabuku.

The resident magistrate, Ropate Cabealawa, said he understood the asylum seekers' frustrations at court delays, but they must allow the process to take due course.

The court is scheduled to hear more cases next Tuesday.

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