Court waits for defendant who is ‘stuck’ on Penrhyn

Monday September 21, 2020 Written by Published in Crime

Cook Islands High Court wants defendant Alfred Teinaki William to make an effort to attend his court trial on December 8.

William faces a charge of assault with intent and had pleaded not guilty in November last year.

William, who works and resides in New Zealand, arrived in Rarotonga last year to attend a family event in Penrhyn where he is now based.

Defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen told Justice of the Peace John Whitta last week that his client was still in Penrhyn with his mum.

William is finding difficulty in returning to Rarotonga due to recent travel regulations, Rasmussen said.

He said the last boat that left for Penrhyn was two months ago and only a number of passengers made it back.

JP Whitta said they have to “draw a line sooner or later” and William needed to know that.

He adjourned the matter to December 8 for the trial date but added if William returned earlier, he could make an application to the Court for an earlier hearing.

Rasmussen had earlier told the court the case was a matter in regards to a feud between a community. William is alleged to have hit a victim with a bottle.

He had entered a not guilty plea for his client saying there is no evidence or witness to the alleged offence.

Rasmussen explained that there was only a “conflicting evidence” that someone had seen blood on the victim’s head before William had arrived at the scene.

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