State wants re-trial on one of the country's largest drug bust cases

May 25, 2022 5:50 am

Joseph Abourizk (From Left), Josese Muriwaqa.

The Defence lawyer in one of the country’s largest drug bust case has sought directions from the Supreme Court.

Last month, the Supreme Court had quashed the convictions of an Australian drug convict and Fijian taxi driver for being in possession of 49.9 kilograms of cocaine in 2015.

This on the ground that they had received the longest-serving sentences ever passed in Fiji on people who dealt in drugs.

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The State is seeking a re-trial while the two remain at the Suva Remand Center.

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 a 14-year sentence to the duo with a non-parole period of 12-years.

Following an appeal by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Court of Appeal had increased their imprisonment term 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.

They had appealed following which their convictions were quashed.

The defence lawyer yesterday asked for time to file an affidavit on the grounds as why the case should not go on retrial.

Chief Justice Kamal Kumar granted 21-days to the two counsels to file their submissions.

The case will be called for hearing on August 16th.