Nauru judge orders retrial

It is back to square one—and the attendant frustrations, fear of political persecutions and absence of legal representation at trial for the so called Nauru- 19 following a judgement on the island this month.

The Nauru 19, which includes several former politicians, are charged in connection with an anti-government protest in 2015. A new Supreme Court judge (and Fijian national) Daniel Fatiaki, has upheld the lower court’s decision to remove the permanent stay on proceedings against the 19, instead ordering the group to be re-tried for the criminal offences they were originally charged with four years ago.

In so doing, Judge Fatiaki refused an adjournment application sought by the defendants, meaning that the trial would proceed with no legal representation offered to the group. The Fijian jurist’s orders wind back the legal victories the group had fought hard for over the years, with the assistance of Australian lawyers. The lawyers had to work pro bono at times, as the Nauru 19 struggled to raise their legal funds.

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