Meth case a first in Cooks

Friday March 22, 2019 Written by Published in Crime

The first methamphetamine case for the nation was brought before the Cook Islands High Court yesterday.

Tehananaia Haas Maeva, 24, appeared before Chief Justice Sir Hugh Williams QC.

He is charged with two charges of possession of drugs - one count of possessing methamphetamine and one of having cannabis.

It is alleged that Maeva imported the drugs into the Cook Islands. Cannabis is a controlled C drug and methamphetamine is a controlled A drug.

The defendant is charged under the Cook Islands Narcotics and Misuse of Drugs Act 2004.

Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Fairoa Tararo urged the court to keep the defendant in custody as he was facing serious charge of possession of drugs, one being listed as a Class A drug.

Defence counsel Norman George applied for bail and said the amount did not seem to be a substantial quantity and there was no indication the drugs were for sale.

George applied for bail on the basis that the defendant had no previous conviction therefore he was entitled to bail as of right and he has been in police custody for 48 hours (two nights).

He said Maeva being employed at T&M Heather, has a good job as a heavy duty truck driver and was not at risk to the community.

He said the defendant was willing to comply to any condition imposed by the court.

Sergeant Tararo objected to bail advising that the Class A drug methamphetamine was the first for the Cook Islands and there were similar cases in New Zealand.

He said around 5.9 grams of methamphetamine were found.

Chief Justice Williams said bail was the defendant’s right, but it was up to the court’s discretion.

George said his client was entitled to bail according to the Criminals Procedure Act because he had no previous convictions.

Chief Justice Williams said this is the first time a methamphetamine matter was brought before the court in the Cook Islands.

He said investigation was still at a relatively early stage.

He granted bail for the defendant and adjourned the matter to May 2.

The bail conditions for the defendant are: To surrender his passport and not apply for any new passport, not to approach any witness or anyone else involved in the matter during the investigation in any fashion, not to engage or in possession or use of illicit drugs, to follow curfew before 7pm and 6am and to not leave Rarotonga without approval of the High Court and to reside at his home in Titikaveka next to his mother who was to sign a bail bond.

Leave a comment