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Second court appearance for rape accused

Wednesday 8 March 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Court, Crime, National

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Second court appearance for rape accused
Cook Islands High Court. 12081330

A man facing charges of sex with a minor and rape has made a second appearance in court following an oversight by a Justice of the Peace.

The accused with interim name suppression appeared before Justice of the Peace John Whitta in the Criminal Court in Avarua on Tuesday.

JP Whitta said he recalled it being a busy day in court on Thursday last week when the accused made a first appearance.

He had not asked for the defendant’s passport to be surrendered to the court as part of bail conditions at the first appearance.

Defence lawyer Michele Tangimama said her client had a passport which had expired in 2020.

JP Whitta advised the court to make a note that the defendant’s passport had expired, and that he was not to apply for another one.

The matter was then transferred to the High Court.

JP Whitta said the defendant was not to have any communication with the complainant or witnesses, verbal, written, electronic, or in any way.

He was told not to leave the Cook Islands, be at a designated place between 7pm and 7am, not to consume alcohol or go to licenced premises, report to police every Friday, and not to use certain sections of the Back Road.

JP Whitta directed the court registrar to confirm a date for his next appearance.