Fijian rugby player charged with assault and alleged intent to commit rape
Kolinio Yabia Tamanitoakula, 25, a Fijian national, from Ashburton appeared via AV link from the Timaru District Court before Judge Warren Cathcart in Gisborne District Court
Interim name suppression has lapsed for a Mid Canterbury rugby player accused of assault with intent to commit rape in Gisborne in early October. Kolinio Yabia Tamanitoakula, 25, a Fijian national, from Ashburton appeared via AV link from the Timaru District Court before Judge Warren Cathcart in Gisborne District Court yesterday. The alleged incident happened after a representative rugby game at Ruatoria. The first court appearance happened at a time when New Zealand rugby was already under fire about player misconduct.
Counsel Alistair Clarke said interim suppression of name and details had lapsed and he was not in a position to advance a case for its further continuation.
He was critical of Fairfax Media which he said had too leniently interpreted the suppression order by publishing details against the court order. “The horse had bolted,” Mr Clarke said.
Police prosecutor Carl Neustroski said Police would have been neutral on any further application. Judge Cathcart asked for assurance that identifying Tamanitoakula would not in any way identify the complainant. He was told there was no connection between the two. The judge further remanded Tamanitoakula on bail for another appearance on February 9 which will also be via AV link from Timaru. The judge warned media present nothing could be published that might identify the complainant. The judge ordered an interpreter to be present for any further appearances because of English language difficulties.
Kolinio Yabia Tamanitoakula.