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

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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.

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