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Ruling For Bail Appeal Set For April 11

Ruling For Bail Appeal Set For April 11
Loizos Petridis outside the Suva Court House.
March 31
11:57 2018

The High Court in Suva will deliver its ruling on April 11, 2018, on the appeal advanced by the State on bail granted for two Cyprus nationals.

The accused men – Loizos Petridis, 42, and Cleanthis Petridis, 46 – appeared before Jus­tice Daniel Goundar yesterday for their ap­peal hearing.

They were represented by Lautoka law­yer Mark Anthony while State lawyer Saif Shah appeared for the prosecution.

In his submission, Mr Shah said the ac­cused men were charged with 299 counts of money laundering, which involved a total of $209,000.

He said the prosecution’s case was that they were relying on direct witness testi­mony from a Bank South Pacific (BSP) em­ployee who saw the duo allegedly commit­ting the offence outside a bank branch.

Mr Shah said the same BSP employee alerted the Criminal Investigations Depart­ment (CID) about the crime.

He said Police seized 29 blank Master Cards from their residence, including a card reader and laptops containing details of account holders.

He said once the money was withdrawn by the accused men using the blank cards, they then remitted the monies overseas us­ing money transfer agencies.

Mr Shah said they would roll out the charges once the case was transferred to the High Court.

The court heard that the two men entered the country on tourist visas and were ar­rested at a coffee shop on December 19, 2017.

They were residing at an apartment on Knollys Street and had in their possession return tickets for December 25, 2017.

Mr Shah submitted that they should not have been granted bail because the charges against them were quite serious, consider­ing the amount of money involved.

Further, he said, they could engage in sim­ilar conduct while on bail.

Mr Shah said the two sureties were locals who had no prior relationship with the ac­cused men.

He said the prosecution opposed the sure­ties in the Magistrates Court on the ground that they would not be able to control the two accused men because they had no prior relations.

Defence lawyer Mr Anthony argued that his clients had been complying with bail conditions imposed by the magistrate and were attending all their court dates.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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