High Court refuses bail for local sports celebrity

Sports celebrity Justin Ho being assisted into the High Court in Lautoka by police officers yesterday. Picture: FELIX CHAUDHARY

LAUTOKA High Court judge Justice Daniel Goundar yesterday refused a second bail application by local sports celebrity Justin Ho.

Justice Goundar informed the court that in his judgment, Mr Ho’s current medical condition was “not so unusual or exceptional to negate the risk of absconding”.

Mr Ho has been under police guard at the Lautoka Hospital since June 6.

Justice Goundar said Mr Ho’s condition was not so severe as to warrant his continued stay at the hospital.

He said the accused was able to instruct a new counsel and swear an affidavit in support of his renewed bail application.

Justice Goundar said there was no suggestion that Mr Ho’s medical condition had affected his mental health.

He said in terms of physical health, there was “some evidence” that the accused’s mobility had been affected but no evidence that the condition was permanent or would “create inhumane circumstances for him in the remand centre”.

Mr Ho has been charged along with co-accused Frederick Epeli — a former Fiji Airways flight attendant — with attempted unlawful exportation of illicit drugs.

It is alleged that on December 23, 2018, the duo attempted to export 2kg of cocaine to Sydney, Australia.

Mr Epeli, who is in remand at the Natabua Corrections Centre, will have his second bail application heard on August 28.

Lawyer for Mr Ho was Mark Anthony and Aca Raiyawa represented Mr Epeli.

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