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Nikolics Still In Remand, State Asks For Time

Nikolics Still In Remand, State Asks For Time
John (middle) and Yvette Nikolic (right )with a Police officer outside the Lautoka High Court on September 11, 2018. Photo: Yogesh Chandra
September 12
11:21 2018

Australian Couple John and Yvette Nikolic’s remand period has been extended by the Lautoka High Court yesterday.

This came to light after the State prosecution requested for more time in filing a Pre-Trial Conference (PTC) in regard to the matter.

John and Yvette Nikolic appeared before Justice Aruna Aluthge.

They are alleged to have been involved in the importation of $40 million worth of illicit drugs along with undeclared firearms and ammunition.

State Prosecution requested for more time stating that the Officer in Charge of the matter was abroad and it would take them a month to file for the PTC.

Defence lawyer Ronald Gordon informed the Court that a Pre-Trial Conference was vital in order to decide on the agreed facts of a case.

Mr Gordon said a draft for this should have been submitted within the 14 days interval.

“The PTC should have been circulated within the 14 days given, rather than coming to the Court and asking for one more month,” Mr Gordon said.

“It’s a little disconcerting my lord, given that we have been pushing for a hearing date and we are now finding that the State is taking more time in finalising the pre-trial matters.”

Mr Gordon informed the Court that they had disputed everything alleged by the State in regard to the matter.

Mr Gordon said that each time they went to Court, they lost out on a lot of time as well.

“Both my clients are in custody my lord and each time we come to court after 14 days, we lose out on time as this would cause us to go four to six months down the trial calendar,” he said.

The State informed the Court that that the Officer in Charge would be back on the 25th of this month and requested that the case be moved towards the end of the month.

Mr Gordon responded saying that at least something could be submitted for the PTC by the State despite the Officer in Charge being abroad.

Mr Gordon added that now, he would see how the PTC could be expedited.

The PTC has now been adjourned to September, 25, at the Lautoka High Court and the remand period extended for both the accused.

Edited by Losirene Lacanivalu

Feedback:  yogesh.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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