A trial of a man accused of reckless driving and driving with excess blood alcohol will likely go ahead, after the defence lost its claim there was no case to answer.
Harawira appeared before Justice of the Peace John Whitta on Tuesday in the
Criminal Court in Avarua. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of reckless
driving and driving with excess blood alcohol.
to police at around 12.13am on February 13, Harawira crashed a pickup truck
into a parked car on the main road by The Islander Hotel. Harawira’s blood
alcohol limit was allegedly more than four times over the legal limit.
counsel Norman George argued the evidence had so far failed to establish an
said there was “no dispute that the defendant was involved in a crash”, but
defence argued Harawira had not driven recklessly and the process taken to
process his blood sample was unsuitable.
appear the car was parked safely on the side of the road. I find it stretching
credibility somewhat to suggest the only way the parked car could be seen was
by aid of the rear reflectors. A parked car, even a small hatchback, is still a
reasonably large object, and should not have been difficult to see,” JP Whitta
JP Whitta because the medical practitioners could not remember taking the blood
sample, it could not be accounted for and said there was no case to answer.
In response, JP Whitta said he could not see how the fact the practitioners could not remember who took the blood sample did “endanger the credibility of the sample itself”.
stage I have no reason to doubt the accuracy or veracity of the tests
themselves,” JP Whitta said.
response, George lodged an appeal of the decision on the grounds that it failed
to take into account certain procedural matters, in particular the alleged
assault on the defendant.
told George that the alleged assault was not part of the case, and was not even
in the summary of facts.
already sought guidance on your approach. It should not go ahead,” JP Whitta
you’re asking me to do is to look into a charge that has not even been made or
lodged as a complaint.”
was adjourned to February 9 to ascertain progress of the trial, while Harawira
was remanded on bail.