Court revokes bail for 13 in major drug busts

February 2, 2024 5:06 pm

[File Photo]

The Lautoka High Court has revoked the bail of 13 individuals charged in relation to the recent drug busts in Nadi.

The decision was made by Justice Aruna Aluthge after Acting Director of Public Prosecutions John Rabuku presented arguments against granting bail saying there is a high risk of the accused persons absconding.

He also revoked their bail after hearing the submissions from the defence lawyers this afternoon.

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The decision by Justice Aluthge came as a shock to the defence counsels and their clients.

Families of the accused were also present in court as they collected their valuables while they were being escorted by police.

There was also a huge police presence outside the courtroom today.

While delivering his oral ruling, Justice Aluthge said that the Magistrate had failed to give DPP time to file their affidavit but only stuck to the 48hrs issue that was raised by the defence.

He said that this ruling comes from the amount of drugs involved and because it’s also an indictable offense.

Justice Aluthge further stated the affidavit by the DPP was straightforward and the matter is of public interest.

He will deliver his written explanation of revoking bail on Monday.

The accused are 32-year-old Justin Ho, 44-year David Heritage, 22-year Louie Frank Logaivau, 40- year Issac Lesiyanawai, 44-year Ratu Aporosa Davelevu, 30-year Sakiusa Tuva, 29-year Iosefo Roqica, 27-year Maika Yabakivou, 30-year Ratu Osea Levula, 31 year Cathy Tuirabe, 29-year Nancy Mateyawa, 42-year Jale Aukerea and 29-year Keanie Mcpherson.

They are charged with unlawful importation of illicit drug, unlawful possession of illicit drug, possession of property suspected of being proceeds of crime, relating to the importation and transportation of the illicit substances with an estimated street value of more than two billion dollars.

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