Crime & Court

Lawyer, Activist Granted Bail In Alleged Drug Case

Lateef, 58, and Maharaj-Moore, 29, are jointly charged with three counts of found in possession of illicit drugs after being arrested from a home at Nailuva Road in Suva last Sunday following a Police raid.
18 Jul 2019 13:28
Lawyer, Activist Granted Bail In Alleged Drug Case
Former Miss Hibiscus contestant and activist Zoe Maharaj-Moore (LEFT) and Suva lawyer Shazran Abdul Lateef Photo: Ashna Kumar

The Magistrates Court in Suva has granted bail to prominent Suva lawyer Shazran Abdul Lateef and his co-accused, former Miss Hibiscus contestant and activist Zoe Maharaj-Moore.

Lateef, 58, and Maharaj-Moore, 29, are jointly charged with three counts of found in possession of illicit drugs after being arrested from a home at Nailuva Road in Suva last Sunday following a Police raid.

The two appeared before Magistrate Jioji Boseiwaqa for their bail ruling.

Charges

For the first offence of being found in possession of illicit drugs, it is alleged that Lateef and Maharaj-Moore on July 14, 2019, at Raiwaqa, without lawful authority were in possession of 7.89 grams of methamphetamine, an illicit drug;

For the second offence of being found in possession of illicit drugs, it is alleged that Lateef and Maharaj-Moore on July 14, 2019, at Raiwaqa, without lawful authority were in possession of 12.49 grams of cocaine, an illicit drug; and

For the third offence of being found in possession of illicit drugs, it is alleged that Lateef and Maharaj-Moore on July 14, 2019, at Raiwaqa, without lawful authority were in possession of 2.5 grams of cannabis sativa, an illicit drug.

Lateef and Maharaj-Moore have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Bail Ruling:

While delivering the bail ruling, Magistrate Boseiwaqa said both defendants (Lateef and Maharaj-Moore) have no record of absconding bail.

“The court has to find a balance between the safety and security of the public and the defendant’s right to bail and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty,” Magistrate Boseiwaqa said.

“The deprivation of the defendant’s liberty should be a last resort when taken into consideration with other factors described in Section 18 of the Act.

“After considering all the factors, it is the court’s opinion that the defendants will not abscond bail and that the prosecution’s concern for the safety and security of the community can be addressed with sureties and strict bail conditions.”

Both Lateef and Maharaj-Moore were granted bail on the following conditions:

  • With suitable sureties
  • Cash bail fixed at $500 each. Surety bonds fixed at $500 each
  • Not to reoffend
  • Not to interfere with the prosecution witnesses
  • To provide a fixed address and not to change address without informing the court
  • Report to the Raiwaqa Police Station between 6am and 6pm on the first Saturday of each month
  • Lateef and Maharaj-Moore are to be under a curfew at their homes from 6pm and 6am daily.

The matter was adjourned for mention to September 12, 2019.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedbackashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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