Jailed Opposition MP In Nauru Suffers Heart Attack

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Former president Dabwido moved from custody to hospital

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, July 156 2015) – One of the opposition MPs at the centre of a legal crisis on Nauru has suffered a heart attack in custody awaiting his long-delayed bail application to be heard.

Former president Sprent Dabwido reportedly took ill on Tuesday night and was moved to Nauru's hospital on Wednesday morning.

The wife of one of the opposition MPs currently being held in custody, Christine Jeremiah, told the ABC's Pacific Beat program he was suffering breathing problems and had been told by doctors he had suffered a minor heart attack.

"It's a minor heart attack that happened yesterday ... everyone on the island who does know Sprent knows that he has a fragile health condition," she said.

"Given his history of cardiac problems, I think it's to be considered serious."

Ms Jeremiah said Mr Dabwido is still in hospital.

"He's given 24 hours to stay under healthcare. And I'm not sure about after 24 hours, if he's going to be back in jail or not," she said.

Ms Jeremiah said Mr Dabwido, aged in his early forties, is on medication for health problems, and one of the conditions on his bail application was based on his ongoing medical issues.

"He made some bail applications earlier while he was on remand, even on the 10th of July he stated that he had health issues ... but they disregarded that problem," she said.

Mr Dabwido and Mr Jeremiah had a bail application rejected last Friday and were due to face court again tomorrow.

The two opposition MPs have been held in custody since June 19 to face charges arising from a rally outside parliament that the government has termed a riot.

The protests called for the opposition to be permitted to take their seats in parliament, denied to them since mid-2014, and in response to corruption allegations against president Baron Waqa and justice minister David Adeang.

Another suspended MP, Mathew Batsiua, has also been charged over the protests but is not in custody.

A fourth, Roland Kun, has had his passport removed and has not been able to leave Nauru to return to his family in New Zealand where he is the primary caregiver.

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