A High Court jury has retired to consider its verdict over an
alleged international drug trafficker.
Justice Graham Lang summed up to a jury of eight women and
four men at the High Court at Auckland this morning, telling
them they had to decide the Crown had proven "beyond
reasonable doubt" the eight charges against Lithuanian
national Rokas Karpavicius, 33.
"It's not enough for the Crown to prove that he is very
Karpavicius has been on trial for a week after being
extradited from Latvia late last year.
He has pleaded not guilty to all eight charges against him
relating to importing large quantities of Class A and B drugs
from Europe, conspiring to import a Class A drug and money
Justice Lang told the jury that they were the only
independent party who had heard both sides of the evidence
since day one of the trial.
They had to remove any feelings of prejudice and sympathy
before reaching their decision, he said.
Some members of the jury may have had sympathy for
Karpavicius as he was standing trial in a country away from
his home, while others may have preconceived prejudices
against people who were associated with drugs, Justice Lang
They had to find "unanimous views on all the charges" and
weigh each on their own issues, he said.
Karpavicius's lawyer Graeme Newell last week said there was
no hard evidence to link his client to the charges.
He said his client did not have a personal fortune and any
discussions around money between him and criminal godfather
Ronald Terrence Brown, in conversations secretly taped by
police, were in relation to Karpavicius helping Brown invest
his money in Europe.
Brown is serving a prison sentence of 11 years and six months
after admitting importing ecstasy, LSD and methamphetamine,
and using a passport in a false name.
Earlier in the trial, the court heard Karpavicius'
fingerprints were found on a Spanish version of a Harry
Potter book which had the Class A drug LSD hidden in the
Mr Newell asked the jury why anyone sending drugs into
another country would "allow their fingerprints to be on the
He said it was possible someone had taken the book from
Karpavicius' Spanish home to import the drugs.
The Crown alleged Karpavicius sent Brown granite statues
containing large quantities of MDMA.
Karpavicius was arrested and taken into police custody as he
travelled to Turkey. A "red notice" posted by Interpol had
alerted Latvian authorities to the serious drugs charges he
faced in New Zealand.
Detectives from the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of
New Zealand then flew to Latvia to collect Karpavicius and
- Brendan Manning of APNZ