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Nikolic Drug Case: Yvette Nikolic Found Not Guilty Of All Charges

Judge Justice Daniel Goundar in the High Court in Suva there is no evidence of the conduct of the first accused when the discovery of drugs and arms and ammunition were made on the vessel owned by Yvette Nikolic. She was not present at the scene and she was not confronted with the discovery.
18 Feb 2019 18:58
Nikolic Drug Case: Yvette Nikolic Found Not Guilty Of All Charges
Yvette Nikolic and her lawyer outside the Suva High Court last week. Photo: Ashna Kumar

Australian national Yvette Nikolic is free to go after being found not guilty of all charges of importing and possessing illicit drugs and possession of arms and ammunitions without a licence.

Yvette Nikolic was jointly charged with her husband John Nikolic over the discovery of items on June 22, 2018, at Port Denarau Marina.

The couple appeared before Judge Justice Daniel Goundar in the High Court in Suva for a ruling on a ‘no case to answer’ application by Yvette Nikolic’s defence lawyer Ronald Gordon last Friday.

Justice Goundar in his ruling said that the court found there was some direct and circumstantial evidence on all five charges against John Nikolic and there was a case for him to answer.

“The prosecution case against the first accused, Yvette Nikolic, is entirely based on circumstantial evidence.

“The question is whether there is some evidence from which an inference could be drawn that the first accused shared a common intention with the second accused to either import into Fiji or possess an illicit drug.

“There is some evidence that the second accused knew about the concealment as some of the alleged drug was seized upon information given by him under caution to the Customs boarder security officers.

“There is evidence of the conduct of the second accused when the seizure was made and the second accused was confronted with the discovery of the alleged drug.

“But there is no evidence of the conduct of the first accused when the discovery of drugs and arms and ammunition were made on the vessel owned by Yvette Nikolic. She was not present at the scene and she was not confronted with the discovery.

“There is no direct nexus between Yvette Nikolic’s distressed condition and the discovery of drugs and arms found on the vessel owned by her.

“Yvette Nikolic’s conduct after learning of the predicament of her husband is not an incriminating piece of evidence from which an inference could be drawn that she was complicit to the alleged offences.

“Similarly, the other evidence relied upon by the prosecution for an inference of guilt is not incriminating of her. She is the owner of the vessel but there is no evidence that she was in control of the vessel.

“The evidence led by the prosecution points to John Nikolic as the person who was in control of the vessel.

“There is no incriminating and reliable evidence for an inference of common intention based on the route that the vessel took before arriving in Fiji.

“The fact that Yvette Nikolic is married to John Nikolic or had been on board travelling with him for about four months before arriving in Fiji is not incriminating of her for an inference that she is a participant to the crimes that John Nikolic is accused of,” Justice Goundar said.

John Nikolic’s lawyer, Wasu Pillay told the court that he waived the right to closing submissions.

John Nikolic had also chosen to remain silent and will not be giving evidence.

The matter will be adjourned for closing submissions by the Prosecution at 10am Tuesday 19 February, 2019.

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