Police have made another arrest in connection with last week’s brawl at a Rarotonga nightclub, as an online petition questioning the bail conditions of co-accused continues to gain traction.
Police spokesperson Trevor Pitt said an eighth person
has been arrested in connection with the recent Rehab brawl.
A 25-year-old male, an overseas resident and part of
the Australian group involved in the brawl, was remanded into custody on Monday
afternoon, awaiting a court appearance on a charge of fighting in public. He is
expected to appear in court today.
Police investigators were continuing their work
yesterday as information continues to be gathered for prosecution, Pitt said.
The accused were allegedly involved in a fight at the
Rehab Nightclub late Wednesday evening in which two stabbings were reported,
multiple people including Rehab staff received injuries, and police backup was
required to get the situation under control.
Seven people have appeared in court charged with
fighting, assaulting a police officer, and injuring with intent.
Six, who are of Cook Islands descent from Australia,
were released on bail on Friday to attend a wedding at The Edgewater Resort.
They are Akatau Taia, charged with fighting, assaulting a female, and common
assault; Tokoiva Niukore, charged with fighting; Sinatare Maretu, charged with
fighting; Marlon Maretu, charged with fighting; Poutapu Maretu, facing two
charges of assaulting a police officer; and Tiare Mareku, charged with injuring
They had to surrender their passports, not leave
Rarotonga without permission from the High Court, not interfere with witnesses,
not purchase or consume alcohol, not enter licensed premises, and not offer
violence as part of their bail conditions.
A seventh man, Tangimetua Tangimetua, also allegedly
involved in the “full-on brawl”, was remanded in custody on Friday for his own
safety and with a previous conviction for a similar offense. He is charged with
assault with intent.
All seven men are due to reappear in court on
Meanwhile, an online petition asking for the rearrest
of six accused men out on bail is gaining momentum, with over 5200 signatures
(as of 5pm yesterday) and numerous comments supporting the call.
Cook Islander Teherenui Koteka, who started the
petition, said in an earlier statement to Cook Islands News that the men
released on bail showed no remorse for their actions, “going as far as to
flaunt their release on social media”.
The Edgewater Resort, where they were documented
attending a wedding, is a licensed premises as it “allows for the sale and
consumption of alcohol on the premises”, Koteka added.
She said the Ministry of Justice and Police were
funded by the Cook Islands taxpayers “and should be operating in the interest
of protecting members of our community”.
Pitt told Cook Islands News on Monday that police
would not be making any comment on the matter as it was now before the court
and the investigation is continuing.