NATION

Cypriot brothers plead not guilty

Two Cyprus nationals alleged to have been involved in money laundering pleaded not guilty in the High Court in Suva yesterday. Loizos Petridis, 42, and Cleanthis Petridis, 46, appeared before
19 Jun 2018 13:56
Cypriot brothers plead not guilty
Loizos Petridis, 42, and Cleanthis Petridis, 46 at the High Court in Suva on June 18, 2018. Photo: Fonua Talei

Two Cyprus nationals alleged to have been involved in money laundering pleaded not guilty in the High Court in Suva yesterday.

Loizos Petridis, 42, and Cleanthis Petridis, 46, appeared before Justice Thushara Rajasinghe. The duo were represented by Mark Anthony while State lawyer Saif Shah appeared for the prosecution.

On the first count of money laundering, the two brothers denied that between December 12 to 19, 2017, they were allegedly engaged directly or indirectly in procuring $95,590 which were proceeds of crime while knowing it was derived from some form of unlawful activity.

For the second count of attempt to obtain property by deception, they denied that between December 13 to19, 2017 they procured $41,540 from the Bank South Pacific with the intention to permanently deprive BSP of the amount.

They also denied the last count of possession of property suspected of being proceeds of crime that between December 12 to 19, 2017 they allegedly possessed $2039 suspected of being proceeds of crime.

Mr Shah told the court that all disclosures had been served to the defence, however, they were yet to serve them with the transcripts of their video recorded caution interviews. He added that the state would call 10 witnesses during trial and would need at least two weeks to present their case.

Mr Anthony said he was waiting for the transcripts to be served to them so that he could determine whether they would be filing any voir dire grounds or not.

He suggested that trial be set for one month just to be on the safe side. Mr Anthony said the two accused men would be the only witnesses for the defence.

In regards to their bail, Justice Rajasinghe said there was no review procedure in the High Court in regards to the Bail Act.

He said the court had no jurisdiction to reconsider the same grounds submitted in the accused’s initial bail applications, which was refused by another High Court judge.

Justice Rajasinghe said that he found no changes in circumstances presented by the defence in the fresh bail application adding that the defence had the option of going to the Fiji Court of Appeal instead.

The two men have been further remanded. The case was adjourned to July 5, 2018, for mention.

Edited by Percy Kean

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