ONE of the two accused in Fiji's first domestic human trafficking case was denied bail by the High Court in Suva because he "intentionally misled the court".
Inoke Raikadroka told the court that he had no previous convictions but later admitted he had one.
Raikadroka had a previous conviction in Navua in 2012 for a robbery case.
High Court judge Justice Paul Madigan said a disturbing factor in the defence application was at the hearing when State counsel Madonna Fong suggested that there might have been a previous conviction against the applicant in Navua in 2012 for robbery.
"Despite having loudly told the court that he had no previous convictions, the applicant then admitted that he did have a previous for robbery but 'got confused' because he had never been to prison before," Justice Madigan said.
He said an applicant found lying to the court did not give confidence that he would respect authority and report when his case was called and presented himself for trial.
"Despite his counsel's valiant and persuasive attempts to persuade the court that he should be admitted to bail, this applicant's mendacity has defeated him and the application for bail is refused," he added.
Justice Madigan said it might well be that after the information was presented and the disclosures served, then another honest application would be considered.
He, however, granted bail to Mohammed Sheefaz Jameer Sagaitu under conditions that he report to Totogo Police Station every Monday and Thursday between 6am and 6pm; live at a fixed address; not to leave the greater Suva area (Nausori to Lami) until the end of the trial; to report to court every time his case was called; not to contact by any means (personally or electronic) any potential prosecution witness and to leave two telephone contact numbers.
At the bail hearing, Mr Sagaitu's lawyer Jeremaia Savou told the court his client was vulnerable to physical, sexual and verbal abuse in remand because of his sexual preference.
However, Justice Madigan said Mr Sagaitu's sexual orientation had no relevance to the bail application.
The court heard the offence was serious and if convicted the applicants could face a term of imprisonment of up to 25 years.