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Court Allows Aussie Couple To Meet Lawyers

Lawyers for an Australian couple allegedly involved in the importation of $40 million worth of illicit drugs along with undeclared firearms and ammunition were given a chance to meet with
18 Jul 2018 10:14
Court Allows Aussie Couple To Meet Lawyers
John Nikolic (middle) with his wife Yvette Nikolic (right back), escorted by a Police officer outside the Lautoka High Court on July 17, 2018.

Lawyers for an Australian couple allegedly involved in the importation of $40 million worth of illicit drugs along with undeclared firearms and ammunition were given a chance to meet with their clients at the Lautoka High Court library yesterday.

John and Yvette Nikolic were given that permission by Justice Aruna Aluthge after their lawyers filed applications for the one hour meeting as they could not obtain instructions from them at the Lautoka Corrections Centre, where both have been on remand.

John Nikolic’s lawyer, Rajesh Gordon told the court his books, pen and phone were taken off him by Corrections officers thus not allowing him to properly record instructions.

Yvette Nikolic’s lawyer, Wasu Pillay echoed the same sentiments adding that he had written to the Commissioner of Corrections over this issue, but still had not received a reply.

Both lawyers said that their clients’ rights were being denied.

John Pillay said that if this was the case, the state should release his client.

However, state prosecutor, Shirlene Kiran, said Yvette Nikolic was in remand through the court and not the state.

The couple have both been charged separately with one count each of illicit importation of drugs, unlawful possession of illicit drugs and failure to declare arms and ammunition to a Customs officer.

Mr Pillay also raised the issue of Yvette Nikolic’s personal belongings not being returned to her after an application was filed when she first appeared.

Ms Kiran said some things like bank cards would be released, but her phone and laptop were being detained by Police.

She said Mr Pillay could pick the items released from the Namaka Police Station.

Ms Kiran also told the court that the state prosecution needed two weeks to file disclosures and that in the next appearances both cases would be consolidated.

Both cases were adjourned to July 31 for mention.

Yvette Nikolic will however appear on July 24 as this was the date set during her first appearance as the time when her disclosures to have been served by the state.

Fiji Revenue and Customs Services and Fiji Police officers allegedly discovered $40 million worth of illicit drugs, firearms and ammunition on board the couple’s luxury yacht SV Shenanigans on June 22.

The SV Shenanigans had sailed from Bora Bora, in French Polynesia.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

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