Lawyers file no case to answer

John Nikolic and wife Yvette (background) is escorted by police officers outside the Suva Courthouse on Wednesday, February 13, 2019. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

BOTH defence counsels have filed a no case to answer in the case of the Australian couple charged with possession of drugs and ammunition and importation of drugs.

Yvette Dianne Nikolic and John Geoffrey Nikolic pleaded not guilty to two counts of importing an illicit drug, one count of possessing arms and ammunition without a licence, and also pleaded not guilty to two alternative counts of possessing an illicit drug.

It is alleged that Mr and Mrs Nikolic had in their possession 12.9 kilograms of imported cocaine and 34.4 grams of imported cocaine and methamphetamine tablets.

It is also alleged that they had in their possession two pistols and 112 rounds of live ammunition without a licence on June 22, 2018, in Nadi.

After Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Lee Burney officially closed the case yesterday afternoon, the court was informed that defence lawyers Ronald Gordon and Wasu Pillay intended to file a no case to answer application.

Judge Justice Daniel Goundar will hear their submissions this morning and will give the State a chance to respond to the application before a ruling is made.

Meanwhile, earlier yesterday morning the thirteenth prosecution witness, Miliana Werebau, who is the principal scientific officer for the Fiji Police Forensic Chemistry Lab, took the stand to give evidence.

Ms Werebau informed the court that from 2017 to 2018, they had received more than 200 cases of illicit hard drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine.

She told the court that when she received the drugs for testing on June 23, 2018, she retained 50 milligrams of each sample for purity testing as per their new procedure.

State lawyer Shelyn Kiran during examination-in-chief asked Ms Werebau of the results of the test conducted.

Ms Werebau said she conducted a presumptive test which is a colour series test on what the identity of the drug could be.

She added that all the 13 bars tested positive of cocaine and further mentioned that after conducting a purity test to determine the amount of cocaine present in each bar, most of the bars showed more than 90 per cent of cocaine present.

Ms Werebau said all the ecstasy tablets were weighed at 34.4 grams and were tested positive of cocaine and methamphetamine.

She added that the lighter shaded tablets showed 2.9 per cent of cocaine present while the darker shaded tablets showed 97.9 per cent of methamphetamine present.

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