Prem wants statement tossed

LIHU’E – A Kapa’a resident accused of felony drug offenses aims to have a statement, along with evidence seized, thrown out of court.

Anthony Prem Sr. seeks to keep out of court a typed statement prepared by a Kaua’i Police Department investigator that Prem signed but said he did not read.

Additionally, he seeks to keep out of court evidence that was seized when a search warrant was carried out last May.

Attorney June Ikemoto argued Tuesday before Fifth Circuit Court Kathleen N.A. Watanabe that the credibility of a confidential source who opened the way for the search warrant is in question.

She wants information about the source from attorneys in the county prosecutor’s office because it may help show a lack of probable cause for the issuance of the search warrant.

County Prosecuting Attorney Craig De Costa said that there is no way that he is going to turn over information about that confidential source to the defense.

He pointed out to Watanabe that the identity of the source has to be kept confidential.

Both attorneys suggested that they submit documents to the judge for her to look at.

Watanabe told both attorneys to get together to come up with what documents she needs to look at in private in order to make a decision on what may be used at trial.

Watanabe set a Feb. 14 hearing to deal with the motion to suppress Prem’s statement and the evidence that was seized. She also reset Prem’s trial date from Feb. 6 to May 22.

According to court records, Prem was arrested May 23 last year after KPD officers carried out a search warrant. The officers searched Prem and his vehicle, and came up with approximately 61 grams of cocaine, along with Vicodin and Lorcet pills.

According to Ikemoto, Prem was questioned by KPD officers, and a statement was obtained from him. In November, she filed a motion to have thrown out of court a typed statement prepared by a KPD officer that was signed by Prem.

According to Ikemoto, she believes that Prem may not have voluntarily waived his right to remain silent. Additionally, she claims that Prem did not know the contents of the statement because it is the defense’s position that he is not literate to read and understand what was presented to him.

Along with getting the typed statement thrown out as evidence, Ikemoto also seeks to suppress evidence seized as a result of the KPD search because officers lacked probable cause for the issuance of the search warrant.

Ikemoto pointed out in court records that the officer who obtained the search warrant also submitted an affidavit to support why the search warrant should be issued.

Ikemoto wrote that the officer’s affidavit included statements from a confidential source that Prem was involved with cocaine.

She also pointed out that the officer concluded his affidavit by writing that the source “has proven to be reliable and credible.”

Ikemoto claimed that the officer’s statement about the source’s reliability and credibility was not conclusive, and lacked detail. Therefore, there was not probable cause for the issuance of the search warrant, she argued.

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