Court grants appeal for bail

THE High Court in Lautoka has granted bail to a Ra man.

Nemia Wauca, who is alleged to have stolen yaqona plants valued at $270 last year, appealed a decision by the Rakiraki Magistrates Court that refused him bail. He faces one count of theft and had been in remand since October, 2016.

The magistrate refused Mr Wauca bail on the ground that he had two pending matters before the Rakiraki Magistrates Court.

In his appeal, Mr Wauca said the Magistrate had failed to consider the presumption of innocence in this particular case and he failed to analyse the strength of the prosecution’s case.

While ruling in favour of Mr Wauca, High Court judge, Justice Aruna Aluthge said when a court decided to refuse a bail to an accused person it must expeditiously deal with the matter and ensure a speedy trial.

He said if the court was overburdened with backlogs, the case flow of the court must be managed to give priority to those cases where the accused was in remand.

Justice Aluthge reversed the judgment of the Magistrates Court and released Mr Wauca on bail.

The accused was also ordered to provide a personal bail of $500 with one surety.

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