NATION

Trial Date Set For Australian Couple

The trial date for the Australian couple accused of unlawfully possessing cocaine and methamphetamine tablets has been set for January 28-February 5, 2019. Yvette Dianne Nikolic and John Geoffrey Nikolic
27 Nov 2018 11:34
Trial Date Set For Australian Couple
Yvette Dianne Nikolic (front) and John Geoffrey (back) outside the High Court in Suva on November 26, 2018.

The trial date for the Australian couple accused of unlawfully possessing cocaine and methamphetamine tablets has been set for January 28-February 5, 2019.

Yvette Dianne Nikolic and John Geoffrey Nikolic appeared in the High Court in Suva yesterday before Justice Daniel Goundar.

They were represented by private lawyer Wasu Pillay while State lawyer Yogesh Prasad appeared for the prosecution.

The case was transferred to Suva from the High Court in Lautoka because the defence requested for an early trial date.

Justice Goundar said it would take at least two years to have the case tried in Lautoka because there were almost 300 cases pending in High Court there.

Mr Prasad said all disclosures were served to the defence and the alleged substances were kept in custody at the Nadi Police Station.

He said forensic analysis were done by the Fiji Police Forensics Department and they had tested the substances to be methamphetamine and cocaine.

For the count of unlawful possession of illicit drugs prosecution is alleging joint enterprise by the couple however not for the charge of unlawful importation of illicit drugs where John Nikolic is charged alone.

Justice Goundar questioned Mr Prasad whether he saw any inconsistency in not charging the couple for joint enterprise on unlawful importation.

Mr Prasad responded that he did not see any inconsistency in that approach adding that prosecution would call seven witnesses to testify against the couple.

He added that they were not relying on the duo’s caution interview because they chose to remain silent during questioning.

Mr Pillay said tentatively defence would call two witnesses to testify their case. He stated that his clients were totally denying the alleged offences.

The case has been adjourned to January 25, 2019 for Pre-Trial Conference. Both accused persons remain in custody.

On June 22, 2018 the couple were allegedly found in possession of 34.4 grams of cocaine and meth tablets and they failed to declare a Smith and Wesson Gun with magazine loaded with six bullets together with 56 ammunitions and a revolver loaded with six bullets together with 35 ammunitions.

The second accused John Nikolic is also alleged to have unlawfully imported 12.9 kilograms of cocaine.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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