NEWS

Represent Yourselves Or Get New Lawyer, Cypriots Told

"This was after their lawyer, Aman Ravindra-Singh, failed to appear in court when their case was called yesterday at the High Court in Suva."
06 Mar 2019 10:00
Represent Yourselves Or Get New Lawyer, Cypriots Told
From left; Cyprus nationals Cleanthis Petridis, 46, and Loizos Petridis, 42, outside the High Court in Suva on March 5, 2019. Photo: Wati Talebula

Two Cyprus nationals charged with money laun­dering were yesterday ordered to engage a lawyer who could represent them within three weeks.

This was after their lawyer, Aman Ravindra-Singh, failed to appear in court when their case was called yesterday at the High Court in Suva.

A hearing date was scheduled to be set.

Brothers, Loizos Petridis, 42, and Cleanthis Petridis, 46, were told by Justice Thushara Rajasinghe to either represent themselves in court or engage a new lawyer.

Loizos Petridis told the court that Mr Ravindra-Singh had in­formed them that his practicing certificate was about to expire and that it would take two to three weeks to renew.

Representing the State was Saif Shah from the Office of the Direc­tor of Prosecutions.

Justice Rajasinghe said the court could not afford to delay the case and the excuse by the defence lawyer was unacceptable.

“I was to finalise everything. Mr Singh should have known in advance that his practicing certificate was about to expire and should have done something about it,” Justice Rajasinghe said.

“You need to get a lawyer who can work with you,” he told the accused pair.

The Charge

The duo face charges involv­ing the withdrawal of money from automated teller machines (ATMs) in Suva.

On the first count of money laundering, it was alleged that between December 12 and Decem­ber 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, it was alleged that between December 13 and 19, 2017, they procured $41,540 from the Bank South Pacific with the intention to permanently deprive BSP of the amount. The case has been ad­journed to March 26 for mention.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

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