19 Aug 2014

Court told shots fired to prevent pursuit

8:16 pm on 19 August 2014

A tourist held up with his wife at gunpoint in Auckland says the gunman fired five shots to prevent them giving chase.

John Koteka, who has denied 12 charges including aggravated robbery and assault, is on trial in the High Court in Auckland.

Yung Chieh Chin and his wife were approached on the summit of Mt Eden by a man armed with a short rifle whom the Crown said was John Koteka.

In evidence read out in court today, Mr Chin said the man snatched his wife's bag, which contained $US3000, a camera, a phone and passports, and fired five shots into the ground to stop them following him.

Crown prosecutor Warren Cathcart said an hour earlier Mr Koteka had pointed a gun at a tour operator in the Winter Gardens at the Auckland Domain and demanded money.

Mr Cathcart said Mr Koteka also had previous convictions. He said Mr Koteka and another man burst into two Auckland homes, with one of them brandishing a gun while the other demanded cash and searched for things to steal.

Mr Koteka's lawyer, Peter Kaye, said the case was all about identification and whether the Crown can prove the gunman was his client.

He said the case was like a jigsaw and the jurors would need to put all the pieces together.

The trial is set down for two weeks.