Fredrick Epeli (blue) and his lawyer in court today
Former flight attendant Fredrick Epeli returned to the Lautoka High Court today in relation to a 2018 drug case.
Epeli, alongside Justin Ho, face one count each of attempted unlawful exportation of illicit drugs, a charge that has brought attention to the circumstances surrounding the missing drugs.
In today’s proceedings, Epeli’s lawyer, Aca Rayawa, raised pertinent questions regarding the recharging of his client.
Rayawa inquired about the status of the missing drugs, emphasizing the importance of understanding whether they had been located or if someone had concealed them, and how his client was connected again.
In response, Justice Riyaz Hamza addressed the issue and stated that the physical presence of the drugs is not necessary for the case, as large quantities can be destroyed.
Rayawa further sought clarification on whether the exhibits had been destroyed, highlighting the significance of this information in the proceedings.
Meanwhile, Justin Ho’s counsel, Iqbal Khan, humorously remarked on the widely reported explanation for the missing drugs, suggesting that the rats and cockroaches purportedly responsible should also be brought in for questioning.
The defense counsels also awaited the arrival of police dockets, vital documents for the legal process. Notably, while Epeli appeared in court, Ho was absent.
His absence was attributed to a failure to file a production notice, as he is currently on remand.
It was alleged that on 23rd December 2018, without lawful authority, they attempted to export 2015.7 grams of cocaine to Sydney, Australia.
It was also alleged that the duo engaged in the dealing for the transfer, transport, supply, use, manufacture, and sale of cocaine and illicit drugs.
However, in 2020, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution filed a nolle prosqui after the exhibits went missing.
They will reappear this Friday.