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$31Million Cocaine Drug Trial – Day 3

Police Detective Inspector yesterday has testified that he was instructed to re-arrest Canadian national 10 minutes after he was released from detainment by the Criminal Investigations Department on February 15,
25 Mar 2021 08:19
$31Million Cocaine Drug Trial – Day 3
Joshua Aziz Rahman escorted by the Police Special Response Unit officers outside the High Court on March 24, 2021. Photo: Ashna Kumar.

Police Detective Inspector yesterday has testified that he was instructed to re-arrest Canadian national 10 minutes after he was released from detainment by the Criminal Investigations Department on February 15, 2019.

This was in the trial of Joshua Aziz Rahman currently ongoing before Justice Daniel Goundar for the third day.

Rahman is facing one count of unlawful possession of illicit drugs.

It is alleged that Rahman with another between January 23, 2019 and February 14, 2019 at Caubati in Suva, without lawful authority, was found in possession of 39.5 kilograms of illicit drugs, namely cocaine.

The raid was conducted at the accused person’s home in Caubati on February 14, 2019, where the discovery of 39 bars of white powder was discovered and later tested positive to be cocaine worth more than $31 million.

Representation:

Rahman is represented by counsel Devanesh Sharma and Sharoneel Deo from R Patel Lawyers and Ashneil Nadan from Neel Shivam Lawyers.

The State is presented by Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Dr. Andrew Jack, lawyers Shelyn Kiran and Monisha Naidu from the Office of the DPP.

Trial Day 3:

Inspector Usaia Donu, while giving evidence, testified that he was the one who had executed the re-arrest of Rahman outside the CID headquarters in Toorak, Suva.

He testified that he was instructed by his supervisor to conduct the re-arrest on February 15, 2019 at 7.55pm.

He told the court that Rahman was released from detainment for a matter relating to cash that was found on him earlier during the search of Rahman’s hotel room in Nadi on February 12, 2019.

Inspector Donu told the court that the team had received information that drugs had been found at Rahman’s residence at Caubati during the raid on February 14, 2019, and following that he was released and 10 minutes later, he was re-arrested, 10 steps away from the CID HQ building.

He told the court that after re-arresting Rahman, he had escorted him back inside the CID HQ where he had handed Rahman over to another officer named Avinesh Dutt.

When questioned by Mr Sharma on whether he maintained his story given as evidence on oath in court, Inspector Donu testified yes.

Mr Sharma questioned the witness whether he made up the story because Rahman was never released from custody past the 48 hour detainment period, Inspector Donu claimed yes.

Inspector Donu maintained his evidence that on February 15, 2019, he was acting on instructions of his superior.

Mr Sharma then put to the witness that Rahman was never allowed to leave the CID HQ premises and the witness’ evidence was just a mock up.

Inspector Donu testified that he was acting on instructions of his superior to re-arrest Rahman.

Witness Acting Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Rupeni Tawaka testified that he was instructed by Officer Avinesh Dutt to release Rahman after Rahman’s interview was conducted.

He testified that he released Rahman on February 15, 2019 at 7.45pm.

While being cross examined by Mr Sharma, Acting ASP Tawaka denied in court that the evidence he gave was a cover up and a lie that Rahman was never released and was continuously detained in police custody since February 12, 2019.

Mr Sharma had further questioned the witness who asked him to give his statement two years after on March 23, 2021, while the trial was ongoing.

Acting ASP Tawaka testified that he was asked by his supervisor via email to give his statement about what he did on February 15, 2019 in relation to Rahman’s case.

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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