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Aust High Commissioner In Contempt Of Court, Says Delany

The Assistant Director of Public Prosecution, Michael Delaney, told the High Court in Suva yesterday that the Australian High Commissioner committed contempt of court. The issue was brought before the
10 Jun 2017 11:00
Aust High Commissioner In Contempt Of Court, Says Delany

The Assistant Director of Public Prosecution, Michael Delaney, told the High Court in Suva yesterday that the Australian High Commissioner committed contempt of court.

The issue was brought before the court as the prosecution raised a concern involving Aiden Alec Hurtado, a Colombian national who is charged with unlawful importation of illicit drugs.

Mr Delaney told the court that one of the prosecution witnesses, Richard Briggs, who is a Police officer from Sydney, Australia, had failed to come to court to give evidence after a directive was given to him by the Australian High Commissioner not to attend the case. He further told the court that Mr Briggs was summoned to tell the court the value of the 20.5 kilogrammes of cocaine that was allegedly imported to Fiji without lawful authority in 2014.

Mr Delaney said Mr Briggs was seeking diplomatic immunity in order to give evidence as directed by the Australian High Commissioner.

Justice Thushara Rajasinghe told the State to first find out the status and position of Mr Briggs on whether he worked for the Australian High Commission or the Transnational Crimes Unit for the Fiji Police Force.

Once the status is established Justice Rajasinghe will then decide on whether Mr Briggs is to come to court to give evidence or not.

The case will continue on Monday.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: jessica.gounder@fijisun.com.fj




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