Scribe gets to court, pleads not guilty

Hip-hop artist and rapper Scribe has made a voluntary appearance at the Christchurch District Court, two days after an arrest warrant was issued for his no-show.

He has pleaded not guilty to all six charges he faces and has been remanded on bail for a case review hearing.

The performer – real name Malo Ioane Luafutu, 38 – had missed his flight from Wellington and remained in Porirua when he was meant to be appearing in the Christchurch court on Wednesday afternoon.

Through his defence counsel Elizabeth Bulger, he offered to come to Christchurch if the case was adjourned to Friday. Judge Tony Couch declined the remand request and issued an immediate arrest warrant for non-appearance.

The Christchurch court office said the warrant had not been executed by this morning, so Luafutu had not been arrested ahead of his voluntary appearance today.

Luafutu faced charges that on April 2, at Christchurch, he had an offensive weapon – a bat – in a public place, possession of the class A drug amphetamine, and possession of a pipe for using amphetamine.

He also faced charges of failing to answer bail, at least one of them for failing to appear at court in Christchurch.

Luafutu contacted the police after an arrest warrant was publicised on the police Facebook page last month, and then appeared in the Pororua District Court last month.

The case was then remanded for an appearance in Christchurch, and a lawyer was arranged to represent him.

In court today, Luafutu entered not guilty pleas to the weapon and drugs charges and elected a judge-alone trial. He also entered not guilty pleas to three charges of failing to answer bail.

Judge Couch remanded him to a case review hearing on November 14, on bail requiring him to live at a Christchurch address and report twice a week to the police. The judge noted there had been a total of four failures to appear at court on these charges.

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