Trial date on the Westpac Bank robbery matter will be soon fixed now that two of the five men facing the charges are arrested and remanded in custody.
Jonathan Wanefiolo and Stanley Waneakwasia who were under warrant of arrest on previous appearance are now in custody.
Three of the accused, security officer Harry Lilimae, Patterson Otokwai and Dudley Baemaelia are on bail.
Another accused, Gabi Selo who had already pleaded guilty to the robbery and a grievous bodily harm charge for cutting off a security officer’s wrist is awaiting sentence.
Public Prosecutor Maito’o Hauirae who stood on instructions of his colleague Florence Joel yesterday said the setting of the trial has been delayed because of the warrant of arrest.
He said a trial date will be fixed now that two of the accused are now arrested.
The court was told Ms Joel had just returned from oversea and will resume duties soon.
Private Lawyer Allan Hou informed the court that he had just been instructed to represent Wanefiolo, Waneakwasia and Baemaelia.
He is asking for more time to familiarise himself with the matter and to get instruction from his new clients.
Mr Hou also told the court that he is yet to receive disclosures.
Principal Magistrate Fatima Taeburi therefore adjourned the matter to March 24 and ordered prosecution to serve disclosure to Mr Hou.
All accused were charged in relation to the incident outside of the Westpac Bank at Point Cruz which is now the Bank of South Pacific on the morning of 26 January, 2015.
Five of them allegedly robbed two boxes containing $4 million when two security officers including Lilimae, who allegedly planned the robbery, were wheeling out the boxes to a waiting vehicle outside the bank.
Lilimae and another security officer who had his wrist chopped off during the robbery incident were working for Alert Protective Service.
Lilimae, who allegedly masterminded the robbery, was attacked but left unharmed while his colleague got his wrist chopped off.
The five men then took off in a car and headed in the westerly direction at a very high speed.
A police and public chase resulted in the escaped car crashing at Kakabona.
It was alleged that there, the five men disembarked with knives, threatening anyone that goes closer to them.
Police managed to arrest some of them at the spot while others escaped and were arrested later.
So far police have retrieved $3.7 million while more than $200,000 was missing.
Police alleged Bartholomew Bara, another accused who resided at Kakabona, stole part of the $200,000 from the crashed car.
Bara will be facing a separate trial from the five accused.
The Public Solicitor’s office is representing Lilimae and Otokwai.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN