Case of COVID breach-accused trio in court

Aaron Bunch
·2-min read

One of the young women believed to have sparked Queensland's largest COVID-19 outbreak wants police to hand over body-worn camera footage linked to her arrest after returning from hotspot Victoria.

Olivia Winnie Muranga, 20, Diana Lasu, 21, and Haja Umu Timbo, 21, are accused of lying on their border declaration forms to avoid quarantining after travelling to Victoria in July.

The trio weren't in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday when their cases were adjourned to January to allow a police notebook and body-worn camera footage to be supplied to Lasu's lawyer, Ben Taylor.

The women are each charged with one count of fraud and one of providing false or misleading documents.

Lawyer Jaimee-Lee Jessop said Timbo's case was ready to proceed and her client was hoping for a resolution.

Muranga's lawyer, Leigh Rollason, said the "prosecution process" had been lengthy and he needed to take instructions from his client and prepare further submissions for the court.

Muranga and Lasu tested positive for COVID-19 after flying on July 21 to Brisbane from Melbourne, which remains a virus hotpot for Queensland.

The pair spent days in the community while infectious, shutting down schools and shopping centres.

They're believed to have triggered southeast Queensland's biggest cluster, which led to outbreaks in the Queensland Corrective Services Academy, Brisbane Youth Detention Centre and Ipswich Hospital.

However, genomic testing in August was unable to conclusively prove a connection between all the outbreaks, with chief health officer Jeannette Young saying the clusters were of the same virus strain but there was a "missing link".

Timbo did not contract the virus.

The three women allegedly gave an emergency officer a Queensland border pass that contained false information stating they had not been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the previous 14 days, according to court documents.

They're also charged with fraud for allegedly dishonestly gaining a benefit by avoiding the mandatory 14-day quarantine which is billed to each person isolating.

Their cases will return to the same court on January 20.