The men, where amongst nearly 150 asylum seekers who were charged after the July riots which caused around 60 million dollars damage to the Australian run detention and processing centre.
Since then a number of charges have been dismissed.
This week the 98 men still facing charges appeared in staggered hearings before the Nauru Magistrate's Court for mention, during which the prosecution announced it was removing charges against another 15.
But it's still not certain when the remaining men will go to trial, with the local magistrate expecting it won't happen until the end of November, with the trials likely to run until April next year.
Presenter: Campbell Cooney, Pacofic Correspondent
Speaker: Peter Law, resident maguistrate, Nauru
LAW: Well they've been coming in each day in groups of between 10 and 15 or so. It's a little bit tedious, but I've taken the time to explain to each of them the process. I can't set a trial date yet in each case, because the briefs haven't been served and the prosecution is seeking a further four weeks. So I granted that request, I made that order, so most of these matters are going over for another mention and that will start from around about the 7th. November through to about the 18th. November and I'm hoping that on that date, and the court will be able to set trial dates.
COONEY: In relation to charges, is it still just the charge of riot or is there any indication that there will be other charges?
LAW: Well, the prosecution indicated to this week, that there will be further charges in relation to some defendants, but not all. Now, those further charges will be indictable matters, which means they'll be dealt with in the Supreme Court in Nauru, but they haven't yet been laid. I'm anticipating that's going to happen in the next couple of weeks.
The only other factor which of note is that there's been a number of applications from the prosecution to withdraw proceedings against a number of defendants, so where we started with well over 100, we're down to 83 at present.
COONEY: And if my correct calculations are correct, at the start of the week, there were 98 up for mention, is that correct?
LAW: Ah, that's correct, that's correct, yes.
COONEY: So mention in November and then hopefully a court date set. Have you heard any word in relation to assistance for these trials from Australia. I know that the Chief Justice was looking towards that and also from pro bono assistance from Australian solicitors and barristers. Any feedback on that front?
LAW: Yes, the courts been in contact with some barristers in Melbourne, and there were two that had come over in August to conduct these last hearings in respect to the riots last year and they've expressed interest in returning and they've spoken to a number of others who've and they've been able to collect a group who apparently maybe others will make themselves available, some limited funds to pay, to assist them, but it's going to be a subsidies, by no means really on a proper footing for what Legal Aid would normally be, but we do have some funds.
COONEY: And, I'm right in thinking that these mentions Mr. Law, there is no need for a plea, a not guilty or anything like that?
LAW: No, I can't insist on that and seeing the briefs have been served and they've had a conference with their lawyer and they're then in a position to indicate what the plea might be. But I'm hoping that that might happen on the next occasion, but we'll see.
I have been working on some alternative trial dates with barristers and local practitioners and these cases are going to take some months to process as you'd expect, because they're going to be in small trials of groups between five and ten. So the courts going to be totally consumed with them effectively, which means, of course, that other proceedings maybe delayed. It's of some concern for me that I may have to put over family court hearings and so forth, but I'll simply have to accommodate that, because it means we'll have a priority once we do get started.
COONEY: Feedback from the attorney-general and the Chief Justice in relation to that. That is a fair sort of hiccup to proceedings in the normal court proceedings in Nauru. I mean they are accepting of that as well?
LAW: Well, I'm not going to remove the Supreme Court's sittings. There's two sessions, one is set down for November and then another one is in March.
I don't anticipate starting any trials on these matters until late November, perhaps early December. But once we do start, well then it will go through January, February and part of March.
I know at the start of the next Supreme Court session, so possibly till April.