Trial Of Former Nauru MPs Charged For Protesting Gets Underway

Accused ask court to enforce subpoenas against Justice Minister, others

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 19, 2017) – The trial of former Nauru MPs, charged nearly two years ago over an anti-government protest is set to start today.

But first the former MPs are asking the court to enforce subpoenas for the Justice Minister, David Adeang, the secretary of justice and three people in the Nauru media.

One of the accused former politicians, a former president of Nauru, Sprent Dabwido, said the group they were trying to subpoena was claiming immunity on the grounds of national security.

He said President Baron Waqa had supposedly granted them this immunity.

The protest outside parliament, which the government called a riot, was to raise concerns about the then MPs suspension from parliament over the previous year.

The former MPs and others charged over the protest have struggled to get legal representation but last week they launched a fund raising push on the internet to try and meet the expenses of several lawyers flying in from Australia.

The defendants were also still seeking to have some of their lawyers accredited to work in the Nauru courts - a procedure that has previously been thwarted on a number of occasions.

Radio New Zealand International
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