Burglary Accused Remain In Remand
Three men were further remanded in custody yesterday after appearing in the High Court in Suva on aggravated burglary and theft charges. Venasio Saketa Cawi, Sefanaia Bale and Ulutea Rogosia Toutou appeared before Justice Daniel Goundar represented by Legal Aid lawyer Litiana Ratidara.
On the first count of aggravated burglary between April 9 and 10, 2016, the accused men are alleged to have unlawfully entered an apartment in Pacific Harbour belonging to a 56-year-old businesswoman with the intention to commit theft. On the second count of theft they are alleged to have stolen items worth $13,583 from the apartment. Cawi and Bale pleaded guilty to the charges while Toutou denied the charges.
Ms Ratidara informed Justice Goundar that Bale had earlier indicated to her that he would deny the aggravated burglary and theft charges. However, he was willing to plead guilty to a lesser charge of receiving the stolen items. Justice Goundar then ordered the three men to instruct their lawyer about their plea so that she could confirm the same to the court. State lawyer Sujata Lodhia said two laptops were recovered from Toutou and all the other items were recovered outside the apartment.
She said the trio allegedly removed louvre blades to get inside the apartment before moving the stolen items from inside the apartment to outside and in the process were allegedly intercepted by Police and the items were recovered. She said $12,333 worth of items were recovered.
Ms Lodhia told Justice Goundar that they were all first offenders. However, the State was yet to check whether they had pending court matters or not.
The case has been adjourned to May 29, 2018, for mitigation. Edited by Epineri Vula
A Police officer escorting from left: Venasio Saketa Cawi, Sefanaia Bale and Ulutea Rogosia Toutou to their cell block on May 17, 2018.