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High profile burglary accused enters not guilty pleas

Monday 13 November 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Court, Crime, National

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High profile burglary accused enters not guilty pleas
The CCTV footage of the alleged culprits involved in a burglary at Fave Designs in Avarua. SUPPLIED/23032701/23032702

A man facing joint burglary charges in relation to multiple burglaries on Rarotonga has entered not guilty pleas.

Polycarp Jay-Z Tarai appeared in the Criminal Court on Thursday facing two joint burglary charges.

His lawyer Lavi Rokoika said she had read disclosures and Tarai would be entering not guilty pleas.

Roroika asked that the charges be taken as read.

Justice of the Peace Tangi Taoro said the charges would be taken as read, and accepted not guilty pleas, before adjourning the matter to December 15.    

Tarai was part of a trio accused of being involved in two high-profile burglaries in which retailers Fave Designs was targeted in early March and South Seas International raided in early April.

Close to $40,000 of property was taken in both burglaries.

One of the trio, Edward Tonorio, 18, appeared for sentencing on two charges of joint burglary and one of burglary before Justices of the Peace Georgina Keenan-Williams, Nadine Newnham and Simiona Teiotu in the Criminal Court on October 4.

The matter was adjourned to November 15 after JP Keenan-Williams said the situation had become “too messy” after concerns were raised in Tonorio’s defence.

Eve Rahela Teeio Check appeared for sentencing on August 21, for her role in the two high-profile burglaries.

Check was sentenced to two years of probation with six months of community service, ordered to attend workshops as directed and not to leave the Cook Islands without permission.

She was ordered to pay $10,862 reparation.