Delight as Nauru 19 given permanent stay

Crowds gather in Nauru Photo: supplied/ Shane Bazzi

AREN,13 SEPTEMBER 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – There is delight in Nauru after a court dropped a long-running case against a group accused over anti-government protests.

The so-called Nauru 19 had been fighting charges including rioting and disturbing the legislature brought three years ago.

The group included several former MPs and a former president of Nauru.

One of the accused, former cabinet minister Mathew Batsiua, says today’s granting of a permanent stay gives a sense of total relief and exhiliration.

“There’s a lot of people celebrating this decision. I think it’s a big win for Nauru. It sort of marks the end of a very long struggle, but a struggle that was worthwhile for us. We were determined to see it through because we think we are fighting a good cause and one that needs to be fought,” Mathew Batsiua said.

The Nauru 19 had sought a permanent stay because of the lengthy process and also the Nauru government’s failure to meet a court order to pay some of their legal costs.

An Australian judge, Justice Andrew Muecke, was brought in by the Nauru government to hear the case..

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