Bail application for Canadian national dismissed
February 16, 2021 12:40 pm
Canadian national Joshua Aziz Rahman’s bail was denied by the Suva High Court this morning. [File Photo]
Canadian national Joshua Aziz Rahman’s bail was denied by the Suva High Court this morning.
Rahman, who is to stand trial next month for drug charges has been on remand for two years.
Rahman is charged with one count of unlawful possession of illicit drugs.
It is alleged that he had in his possession, 39 bars of a white substance weighing 39.5 kilograms with an estimated street value of $31m.
The bars were allegedly recovered in February 2019 when police raided Rahman’s home in Caubati, Nasinu, and later tested positive for cocaine.
During his bail hearing last week, his lawyer had argued that they are facing difficulty in visiting Rahman in remand as they have to seek prior approval from the Commissioner Prison and this is affecting their case preparation.
The defense lawyer adds that due to COVID-19, the court was not sitting last year and the witnesses who are in New Zealand are not able to come to Fiji to give evidence.
However, the state lawyer says the delay is not entirely the court’s fault and that Rahman is also at fault because the accused was still sorting out his lawyers when the court was ready to proceed.
The matter was initially set for trial in April last year however it was vacated due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The High court Judge says Rahman had also taken six months to settle on a defense counsel of his counsel which was also a contributing factor to the delay.
Rahman’s bail application was dismissed by the High court.
The matter has been adjourned to the 1st of March for a pretrial conference.