Crime & Court

Cop, Wife Playing Volleyball Among Those Charged

A Police officer and his wife told Magistrate Seini Puamau yesterday that they were not aware of the sporting restrictions in place.
10 May 2020 10:12
Cop, Wife Playing Volleyball Among Those Charged
Gade Gaunavou (second from right) was one of five people charged with social gathering restriction breaches. He is seen here outside the Suva courthouse on May 9, 2020. Photo: Shreeya Verma

A Police officer and his wife told Magistrate Seini Puamau yesterday that they were not aware of the sporting restrictions in place.

Gade Gaunavou and his wife, Yvonne Rota, were among five individuals who were produced in court for playing volleyball at a settlement in Veisari on Thursday afternoon.

The other accused persons are Ratu Seru Tikoicina, Mereki Kiolili and Elisio Cakaunivalu. They all pleaded guilty to the offence. The five accused claimed that they knew there were social gathering restrictions, but did not know that sporting activities were also prohibited.

Magistrate Puamau said even though ignorance of the law was not an excuse, in light of indications given by the accused persons, prosecution needed to amend the facts of the case or run a Newton hearing on existing laws, publications or gazette of the same.

The accused persons said they wanted to deal with the matter yesterday, however they were told that that could only be done if there were full admissions of guilt by them.

Magistrate Puamau told Gaunavou to think seriously about the charge against him because his career was on the line.

They were further instructed to seek legal advice before their next court date.

They were all bailed on the sum of $500 bond and ordered not to reoffend while on bail, not to interfere with prosecution witnesses and not to change their residential addresses until completion of the case.

Tikoicina, Kiolili and Cakaunivalu were also ordered to report to the Lami Police Station every Monday between 5:30am to 7pm.

Their case will be called again in Magistrates Court 4 on May 14.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj


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