Crime & Court

Duo Alleged To Have Thrown Contraband Into Remand Centre Front Court

They are jointly charged on one count of unlawful entry of prohibited articles, while Usman is solely charged on two additional counts of unlawful possession of illicit drugs.
02 May 2020 13:03
Duo Alleged To Have Thrown Contraband Into Remand Centre Front Court
Ashneel Kumar Sharma (left) and Tasir Usman outside the Suva court on May 1, 2020. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Two men alleged to have thrown contraband into the Suva Remand Centre on April 28 were produced in the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday.

Tasir Usman, 37, and Ashneel Kumar Sharma, 29, appeared before Magistrate Seini Puamau.

They are jointly charged on one count of unlawful entry of prohibited articles, while Usman is solely charged on two additional counts of unlawful possession of illicit drugs.

On the first count, it is alleged that they threw into the remand centre premises 46 Fijian tobacco (suki), a sealed BH20 Ice Burst packet of cigarettes, a small Alcatel mobile phone charger, a white charger connector, a black cable and a phone connector.

On the second and third counts, Usman is alleged to have had in his possession 6.4grams of marijuana and 0.0213grams of methamphetamine.

Both men said they understood the charges against them and opted to be represented by the Legal Aid Commission.

Police Prosecution served them with full phase disclosures and objected to Usman’s bail.

The court heard that Usman had a case for absconding bail dating back more than 10years and two previous convictions for drug related offences in 2015 and 2017.

Magistrate Puamau said the court cannot consider the absconding bail charge because it happened more than 10 years ago.

The two men were told that the State has a strong case against them in the form of CCTV footage and admissions they said in their caution interview and if convicted there was a strong likelihood they would go to prison.

Prosecution said the Prison Officer who viewed the footage said the duo were acting in a suspicious manner and had allegedly committed the offence.

Usman told Magistrate Puamau that he was willing to pay cash bail and had sureties available in court.

He also said he had faithfully attended all his court dates in his previous court cases.

Magistrate Puamau said it is in the interest of justice that the two men are released on bail and ordered them to sign $1000 each in bail bond and further ordered Usman to pay $300 cash bail.

She considered the presumption of bail eligibility, the accused men’s innocence until proven guilty and the likelihood that trial will not take place until 2021 or 2022.

Both men have been ordered not to reoffend while on bail, not to interfere with prosecution witnesses and to report to the Nakasi Police Station every Saturday between 8am and 5pm.

Their case has been adjourned to July 15 to check on legal representation.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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