Samuel Munokoa Morris appeared before Justice of Peace Georgina Williams on a charge of assault with intent to injure in the Cook Islands High Court on Thursday.
On January 31, Morris was represented by defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen and entered a not guilty plea.
On that day, police prosecutor sergeant Fairoa Tararo applied for Morris to remain in custody because of his previous convictions. However, Morris was granted bail subject to a number of conditions.
Morris is now represented by defence counsel Norman George who told the court and JP Williams that media had “painted a lot of roses” on the victim involved in the matter.
George said the defendant’s family was questioning the police as to whether the victim would also be charged, as he had allegedly initiated the fight.
Police prosecutor sergeant Fairoa Tararo said police were investigating the matter and if counsel wished to discuss the investigation, it would be discussed out of court.
George objected to this and said the court was a public forum and police needed to investigate the matter.
He also asked for the matter to be adjourned to April as he had yet to receive disclosures from the police.
George said Morris had already entered a not guilty plea and after receiving the disclosures he should be able to confirm that the case would go to trial before three Justices of Peace.
JP Williams adjourned the matter to April 27 for a call over to confirm the date for a defended hearing. Bail conditions were continued, including a curfew between 7pm and 7am. Morris must also reside in Matavera at his parents’ home, is forbidden from entering liquor-licensed premises and must not consume alcohol.
He was also ordered not to contact the victim and any police witnesss. Morris must not leave Rarotonga and was told to surrender his passport to the High Court. - LL