‘Unusual’ court cases adjourned

Saturday February 09, 2019 Written by Published in Crime

Defence counsel Mark Short has requested the court for the adjournment of what he calls two “unusual cases’’ in the Cook Islands High Court.

 Short informed Justice of Peace Carmen Temata yesterday that in the case of clients Alberta Ordain and Joshua Koteka, a joint effort from prosecution, defence counsel and the Ministry of Health to decide on the best course of action for the two matters was needed.

Albert Ordain is charged with two counts of possession of a utensil, two counts of contempt of court, dangerous driving causing injury, failed to stop, ascertain and render assistance and possession of cannabis.

Joshua Koteka is charged with assault on a female.

In the case of Ordain, Short said he arranged a psychologist from New Zealand for his client and according to the assessment his client was not fit to stand trial.

Short said: “In her (psychologist) opinion, he is not fit to stand trial, so we obviously need to put our heads together to try and see what we can come up with.

“I would like the matter to be adjourned, it appears with the psychology report from New Zealand, I will need the effort of all related to the matter, this is an ‘unusual case’.

“He can’t enter a plea at all based on the medical report. I have been advised that he doesn’t have the capacity to understand the charges against him.”

In presenting Koteka’s matter, Short submitted a letter from Koteka’s mother and the New Zealand psychiatrist’s report to the court.

Short said Koteka’s condition was similar to Ordain’s.

He said: “It’s a rare case.

I would like to adjourn it.”

Short further said that Koteka’s mother has been trying several times to get a doctor in Rarotonga to assess her son but it has not been successful.

He said it was important to solve the cases with the help of all relevant authorities.

Temata agreed to Short’s request and adjourned both the matter to April 18.      

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