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Tuesday 30 August 2022 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in Court, National
Ngametuatoe is charged with rape and multiple other indecency
charges that also involve a child. He was expected to make a plea at the call
However, Ngametuatoe’s previous legal counsel Brian Mason told the
Court that Ngametuatoe no longer wanted his service. Ngametuatoe also told
Justice Grice he wanted a new lawyer.
prosecutor Annabel Maxwell-Scott said the matter needed to be progressed
urgently and requested that any granting of bail would be on the grounds that
Ngametuatoe did not leave Rarotonga.
concern is that he will go back to Mangaia and bury his head in the sand again.
He's facing some serious charges," Maxwell-Scott said.
Grice remanded Ngametuatoe on bail and told him he would have to enter a plea on his next appearance on
conditions included that he was to surrender his passport, not to leave
Rarotonga, not to contact any witnesses or be with children under 16 unless
present with an adult guardian.
Ngametuatoe was bailed to Mangaia on October 29, 2021, after he appeared in court in front of Chief Justice Sir Hugh Williams with his associate George Pitt via Zoom.
At the time, Pitt said Ngametuatoe had
agricultural and fishing interests on the island, which he needed to tend to,
in order to make a living.
Pitt told the court on October 29 that
there were 27 letters of reference from the island supporting Ngametuatoe and
that he could not prepare for a trial if he remained on Rarotonga.
Pitt said he had spoken to the Police
Commissioner and was prepared to offer a return fare for Ngametuatoe’s hearing.
At the time the Crown Prosecutor said
there was a significant risk of interference with witnesses, as there were 17
of them on Mangaia, which raised concerns.
The Crown and police opposed the request
while Pitt said Ngametuatoe was not high risk.
Justice Williams told Ngametuatoe he was
not to have contact with persons under 16, unless in the presence of another
adult, and said he could be bailed to an approved address on the island.