Cocaine case may shift to Auckland

Police have indicated that cocaine charges against three Brazilian men may be transferred for hearing in the Manukau District Court in Auckland.

In the meantime, the cases are staying in Christchurch while police go through the process of making disclosure - the documents and recordings relating to the case - available to defence counsel.

Defence counsel for Josue Da Conceicao, Ruth Buddicom, said she had only just received the first batch of disclosure and the police had indicated that the process would take the rest of this month.

She asked for her client, a 36-year-old timber worker, to be remanded in custody to May 1. She said it was appropriate for the case to remain in Christchurch in the meantime.

The police accepted that remand, but indicated they may eventually seek the case's transfer to Manukau.

Conceicao, who remains in custody on charges of importing cocaine and possession of the class A drug for supply, had a Portuguese interpreter to help with his court appearance.

Thiago August De Oliveira, a 31-year-old factory hand, was remanded to the same date in Christchurch, where he has been living at a specified address under strict conditions since bail was granted three weeks ago. He has entered no plea to a charge of possession of cocaine for supply.

Marcos Andre Barbosa, 35, a labourer, appeared later by video-link from Christchurch Men's Prison and Judge Alistair Garland remanded him in custody for another video-link appearance on May 5. He has entered no pleas to charges of importing cocaine and possession of the drug for supply.

A fourth man has been charged in Auckland, the city where the police allege the offending occurred.

The Press