Print this page

Three denied diversion bid

Wednesday October 07, 2015 Written by Sharna Matapuku Published in Crime

Justice of the Peace Bernice Manarangi dealt with 25 cases in the High Court on Thursday, October 1.


After being denied an application for diversion, Agostini Heather, Russell Potoru and Andrew Remuera entered individual pleas of not guilty to charges of fighting in a public place.

Senior police prosecutor Fairoa Tararo sought an adjournment until February 9 next year for defended hearings, He estimated the hearings would take about two days.

Karika Tuake, Teariki Matenga, Teremoana Matai, Aaron Pokino, Tuaine Zekaria and Christian Hosking appeared individual charges of fighting in a public place.

An earlier application had been made to the Cook Islands Police Service by defence counsel Mark Short for the diversion programme as a method of punishment for his clients. However, all of the applications were declined for failing to meet diversion requirements. Short asked the court for a one-week adjournment to allow him to discuss future options with his clients. A call over date was scheduled for October 8.

Andrew Remuera was convicted fined $20 on a charge of assaulting a female. He was also sentenced to 12 months’ probation, with conditions that he must not purchase or consume alcohol, cannot enter any liquor licensed premises and must attend all counselling and workshops as directed by Probation Services. He was also required to pay $30 court costs. Taputu Nigel Hoeflich appeared on a call over for a single charge of assaulting a female. His defence counsel, Brian Mason, said Hoeflich was undergoing counselling with Punanga Tauturu and had a further two sessions to complete. He requested an adjournment until October 22 to allow Hoeflich to complete counselling and to return with a thorough progress report that would hopefully show an improvement with Hoeflich’s long term behavioural issues.

Talimealahi Tuileila appeared on a charge of breaching his probation conditions. Probation Services officer Tuaine Manavaroa said the case had been taken over by Crown Law. Tuileila’s defence counsel, Mark Short requested that the case to be adjourned until October 8 as he had yet to receive disclosure.

Morey Vati appeared on a call over for on a charge of driving while in excess of the breath-alcohol limit. Defence counsel Mark Short alleged several unethical and possibly fraudulent acts had been performed by police at the time of the incident. The defendant had been unconscious when blood was taken from him for testing, and the consent form allowing this procedure to take place had been signed and agreed by someone other than the defendant. Short requested an adjournment for call over until December 10 to allow him time to prepare and gather evidence before proceeding to trial. Senior Police Prosecutor Fairoa Tararo agreed. 

Opura Puia appeared on four separate charges of failing to stop, assaulting a constable, driving while disqualified and driving while under the influence of alcohol. Defence counsel Mark Short said he had only just received disclosure and had not had sufficient time to review the case and get instruction from his client. Puia will return to court on October 15.