Court asks for report on accused

The High Court in Suva wants a report regarding the release of a 19-year-old man charged with aggravated robbery and murder from the Suva Remand Centre.

High Court judge Justice Daniel Goundar found out about Noeli Jack Tamanikaisau’s circumstances when the young man said that he wanted to withdraw instructions from counsel but did not know the lawyer’s name.

He told the court he was maintaining his not guilty plea and that his family was seeking a private counsel on his behalf.

When Justice Goundar asked about his circumstances, the prosecutor said he was released from the Suva Remand Centre but did not know why.

He said Mr Tamanikaisau was remanded again when he appeared in court after missing a court date and a bench warrant against him was cancelled.

The prosecutor also said she did not make any enquiries into Mr Tamanikaisau’s release despite the court not having made an order for his release.

Justice Goundar said she should have and that this should have been of the greatest concern.

Mr Tamanikaisau then told the court he was released after being handed a suspended sentence by the Nausori Magistrates Court for a case of theft and burglary.

He said he was not taken back into remand but released by Nausori Police officers.

Justice Goundar said it should not have happened given the charge originated from Nausori and the investigating officers were most likely from Nausori.

He said he wanted a report from the prosecutor as to why he was released as it was non-compliance of the court’s order to keep him in custody.

Meanwhile, Mr Tamanikaisau was told to make up his mind and engage counsel.

He was remanded in custody.

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