Vakarisi denied bail

Jone Vakarisi is escorted from the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday, Wednesday, October 5, 2022. Picture: IAN CHUTE

Please don’t make me lose my home.

This is what Jone Vakarisi asked the Suva Magistrates Court before he was remanded in custody for allegedly assaulting a man.

The matter was called before Resident Magistrate Indula Ratnayake yesterday.

Police said Mr Vakarisi was a person of interest in relation to recent attacks and was charged for the assault of a 20-year-old chef who had returned from a shop near his house in Flagstaff.

Mr Vakarisi allegedly assaulted the victim after confronting him and asking where he lived because he did not like the response the victim gave.

Mr Vakarisi was produced before Mr Ratnayake, waived his right to counsel and pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Riteshni Lata said the State was objecting to bail in the interests of the accused and the public, and on the grounds of Mr Vakarisi having a number of past convictions and pending matters before the Suva Magistrates Court of similar nature.

She also said police had a strong case against him.

Mr Vakarisi said he had the presumption of innocence until being proven guilty and that the alleged offence he was brought to court for occurred the day before he was remanded in custody for another matter in June.

He argued that he should have been charged for both offences and brought to court then.

He also said he was released on bail on September 23, and during his time in remand, he missed a $2000 rent payment and needed to look after his youngest child.

Sgt Lata said police needed time to conduct proper investigations before making arrests and laying charges on people.

Mr Ratnayake remanded Mr Vakarisi in custody, saying he appeared to have committed the alleged offence while on bail for another offence and that there was a likelihood he would interfere with State witnesses if released on bail.

He said Mr Vakarisi was a potential threat to the community and the public interest in the circumstances that he remained in custody pending trial.

The matter will be called again on November 4 to set a hearing date.

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