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Drugs Trio Front Court

Drugs Trio Front Court
March 03
16:27 2018

State lawyer Unaisi Tamanikaiyaroi was advised by Judge Justice Salesi Temo yesterday to decide whether to go for trial or not after the Defence lawyer had indicated that they were disputing the summary of facts on a drugs case.

Ms Tamanikaiyaroi appeared for the Prosecution in the Suva High Court while Legal Aid lawyer Lavinia David appeared for the Defence.

The trio Jovesa Tawake, Sela Vugakoto and Robert Hilton are jointly charged with unlawful possession of 8.1 kilograms of Cannabis Sativa while the third accused Hilton is charged with another count of unlawful possession of 308.8 grams of Cannabis.

The alleged incident happened in Pacific Harbour on April 4, 2017.

Ms Tamanikaiyaroi informed the court that Tawake and Vugakoto had pleaded guilty to the charge on the last occasion.

However, the first accused had disputed some facts in the summary.

Ms Tamanikaiyaroi informed Justice Temo that she wanted to produce the amended summary of facts to the defence before filing the final copy.

Justice Temo told her that the Prosecution was tasked with producing the evidence in court and if the defence was not agreeing to the information than it was best to take the matter to trial.

He said if they went to trial than the discount of an early guilty plea would not be accorded to the defence. He advised Ms Tamanikaiyaroi that it was an option if she was confident with her witnesses.

Justice Temo also praised the efforts of the Prosecution in successfully producing the alleged real drug culprits to court that were cultivating the drugs as opposed to those smoking it in the nightclubs.

Justice Temo gave the State time until March 23, 2018 to confirm their stance.

He remanded the first accused in custody and extended bail for the other two men.

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar

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