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Wednesday 24 June 2015 | Published in Regional


YAREN – A Nauru Opposition MP, who is one of several MPs facing charges after anti government protests last week, says they are being denied access to their lawyers.

Mathew Batsiua, a former justice minister in Nauru, is on bail and due back in court in the second week of July to face a charge of disturbing the legislature.

Another two MPs are in custody on similar charges, while a fourth has had his passport cancelled.

Batsiua says with the island’s lawyers all working for the government the MPs are reliant on pleaders or advocates, and have been seeking qualified lawyers in Australia.

“At the moment there is difficulty for one of them. His visa application has been rejected by the Ministry of Justice – the grounds are quite flimsy in our opinion, but this is a growing concern because if we do try to get proper legal representation in, we fear that the Government will hinder that.”

All four MPs facing legal action were controversially suspended from Parliament more than a year ago.

Opposition MP Kun has several more days to wait in a fight with the government over his passport.

Kun has applied for a judicial review of the government’s decision to cancel his passport last week and appeared in court on the island yesterday morning.

The MP who was suspended from parliament last year and now lives in New Zealand was taken off a plane by immigration officials amid anti-government protests on the island.

The Solicitor-General asked the court to further delay the hearing because he did not have instructions.

The matter is now due to be heard on Friday.