Andrew Wilkie asks government to intervene on behalf of ‘Nauru 19’

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has called on the Morrison government to exert diplomatic pressure on Nauru to secure the release of 12 political protesters convicted of rioting and assault.

The Nauru government on Friday accused the Australian media of “biased” reporting of its prosecution of the so-called Nauru 19, a group of former Opposition MPs and their supporters, over protests outside the nation’s Parliament in 2015.

Nauru’s President Baron Waqa at a press conference during the Pacific Islands Forum in Funafuti, Tuvalu.Credit:AAP

The Nauru Supreme Court on Wednesday found the protesters guilty of a string of offences after a retrial, overturning a previous decision by a retired Australian judge that a fair trial was not possible because of government interference.

The Republic of Nauru said in a statement Australian media outlets had “irresponsibly” allowed “defendants, lawyers, a former judge and even an Australian politician … to attempt to influence an ongoing legal case”.


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