Nauru DPP to appeal parliament riot trial decision

Nauru’s Director of Public Prosecutions will be filing an appeal against the granting of a permanent stay of the trial of 19 defendants accused charged with riot and other offences.

The permanent stay was granted by Nauru Supreme Court judge, Justice Geoffrey Muecke on Thursday.

A statement from the Nauru Government said the trial has been caught in long running legal wrangles over the defendants’ right to counsel, legal aid as well as allegations that they would not be accorded a fair trial.

“Today’s ruling by Justice Muecke has had the practical effect of halting the trial.”

“It is not a determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused persons. The hearing of the evidence in the case has not been heard or given,” the statement said.

In expressing its disappointment over the court’s ruling a government spokesperson underscored the seriousness of the charges against the defendants, and said His Honour’s decision was wrong in law and needed to be corrected by an appeal.

“If this is not done the community at large will never truly know whether or not those involved in the riot at Parliament broke the law. These are important matters which must be decided before a court of law in our country. The effect of this decision is that the evidence against the defendants cannot be brought to light.”

“Justice Muecke was commissioned especially to adjudicate over the so called ‘riot trial’. His Honour’s commission also ended with the delivery of today’s ruling, the statement further said.

The 19 accused were charged with various crimes stemming from a riot outside Nauru’s Parliament buildings on 16 June 2015. 





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