NEWS

Conviction Of One Of The Nation’s Largest Drug Bust Cases Quashed

The two were found in possession of cocaine near Vuda Point in Lautoka on July 13, 2015.
29 Apr 2022 12:50
Conviction Of One Of The Nation’s Largest Drug Bust Cases Quashed

The Supreme Court of Fiji has quashed the convictions of an Australian drug convict and Fijian taxi driver for being in possession of 49.9 kilograms of cocaine in 2015.

Australian national Joseph Abourizk and taxi driver Josese Muriwaqa were convicted and jailed by the High Court in Lautoka in April 2016 for unlawful possession of illicit drugs.

The High Court had handed 14 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 12 years.

They had appealed against their conviction and sentence to the Fiji Court of Appeal while the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) appealed against it.

The Court of Appeal increased their imprisonment terms to 25 years with a non-parole period of 20 years.

The two were found in possession of cocaine near Vuda Point in Lautoka on July 13, 2015.

Supreme Court panel of Judges Justice Saleem Marsoof, Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare and Justice Brian Keith noted that this case had become a notorious one and that a very large quantity of hard drugs was seized by the Police, one of the largest hauls ever in Fiji.

They stated that so far, the two petitioners (Abourizk and Muriwaqa) represented by Abhay Kumar Singh Lawyers and Kohli and Singh Solicitors, had received the longest-serving sentences ever passed in Fiji on people who dealt in drugs.

The Supreme Court of Fiji ordered:

The petitioners’ application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court was granted.

The petitioners’ appeals against their convictions were allowed and their convictions were quashed.

The Director of Public Prosecutions must notify the Court by May 12, 2022, whether he proposed to apply for an order of a new trial- such an application must be lodged by May 19, 2022.

In the meantime, the petitioners have been remanded in custody.

Feedbackashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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