NATION

Case Of Australian Couple Deferred Again

The Pre-trial Conference (PTC) for the Australian cou­ple allegedly involved in the importation of $40 million worth of illicit drugs along with undeclared firearms and ammunition was de­ferred to October
26 Sep 2018 11:22
Case Of Australian Couple Deferred Again
John Nikolic (left), outside the High Court in Lautoka on September 25, 2018. Photo: Yogesh Chandra

The Pre-trial Conference (PTC) for the Australian cou­ple allegedly involved in the importation of $40 million worth of illicit drugs along with undeclared firearms and ammunition was de­ferred to October 9.

John and Yvette Nikolic are cur­rently charged separately on three counts – one count of Importation of illicit drugs, one count of un­lawful possession of illicit drugs and one count of failure to declare arms and ammunition to a customs officer.

Defence lawyer Wasu Pillay said the failure of the State in making the submissions was incurring costs for his clients because the matter has been called a number of times.

“I have written to the State numer­ous times for them to submit their Pre-Trial conference (PTC),” Mr Pillay said.

The case was presented yesterday before Justice Aruna Aluthge in the High Court in Lautoka.

State lawyer Josaia Niudamu said they were ready to file the PTC. He said they had received some letters warning the prosecution of the costs incurred. However, he said it was not pertinent to the case.

Mr Pillay acknowledged the State finally had the courtesy to reply yesterday morning. However, Mr Pillay said the costs incurred dur­ing the proceeding were not unnec­essary in any way.

“It is necessary my Lord. There are a lot of costs involved in just asking for a simple document such as a PTC checklist,” he said.

Mr Pillay said the State could have filed the documents in a timely manner in order to avoid increased costs.

Mr Pillay also said he had one more application to make in the court. He said a separate investiga­tion had also been undertaken by the Fiji Revenue and Customs Ser­vices on the seizure notice of the yacht belonging to the Nikolics.

Mr Pillay requested the judge to have around two hours in the li­brary just to discuss the matter re­lating to the seizure of the yacht as well as the PTC with his clients.

“It becomes very difficult in the prison to undertake this,” he said.

Justice Aluthge said that while under remand, the Police had final authority over the two accused, Yvette Nikolai and John Nikolai. Justice Aluthge then asked Mr Pil­lay how much time he needed with his clients. Mr Pillay said he need­ed two hours with his clients in the High Court Library.

Justice Aluthge then asked the es­corting officer if it was okay with him to which the escorting officer replied that he had no problem with it. State lawyer Josaia Niudamu had no objections to the applica­tion.

Justice Aluthge gave two hours for Mr Pillay to have with his cli­ents yesterday in the High Court Library and the matter was ad­journed to October 9, 2018.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Fijisun E-edition
Advertise with fijisun
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: