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Fiji Time: 1:10 AM on Thursday 31 July

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Christmas in jail

Mere Naleba
Saturday, December 15, 2012

THE four accused persons in a human trafficking case will now spend Christmas and New Year in custody after High Court judge Justice Paul Madigan ordered that they be remanded in custody until sentencing.

An application made by fourth accused Jason Zong's lawyer, Gavin O'Driscoll for the court to grant bail to his client as he had provided two sureties, paid $10,000 bail bond, surrendered his passport to the court and that he had to attend to his farm was refused by Justice Madigan on Thursday.

Justice Madigan said the matter was a serious case and ordered the release of the bail money to the fourth accused.

Director of Public Prosecutions Office lawyer Seini Puamau objected to the bail submissions made by Mr O'Driscoll saying the penalty for the crime in question was 15 years maximum imprisonment term and asked the court to remand all four accused, and that any time spent in remand would weigh in their favour.

Three of the four accused, Phanat Laojindamanee, Lum Bing and Zhang Yong have been in custody since September 13 after being arrested by the immigration officials along with the three Thai women at their rooms at the Peninsula International Hotel.

Justice Madigan will hear sentencing submissions by defence lawyers Aseri Vakaloloma, Isireli Fa, Akuila Naco and Gavin O'Driscoll on January 21 next year.


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