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Accused Texted Victim After Death

Accused Texted Victim After Death
March 10
12:08 2015

A man accused of burning his friend to death texted the victim days after his death saying whoever committed the crime “deserves to be in jail for good”.

Shivneel Kumar, 20, and Bryne Permal, 22, are on trial charged with the murder of Shalvin Prasad, 21, who was found burned to death on the side of a road in rural South Auckland on January 31, 2013, the day after withdrawing $30,000 from his bank account. All the men are of Fijian descent.

Intercepted texts and phone calls by Kumar and Permal were relayed to the High Court in Auckland yesterday, including a text Kumar sent to Prasad, who he knew was dead.

“Bro RIP… whoever did this to you deserves to be in jail for good,” he wrote.

He continued: “Can’t believe you’re gone man and I saw you that day. I told you to f***ing come to town man! I can’t talk to you so thought I’d text to get it out.

“Thanks for the times you had my back bro and helped me out. You will be foreva missed. You were gonna be uncle to my son bro. N e ways from my whole family we wish you safely reached heaven bro. Will miss you.”

The Crown contends the text was self-serving and designed to bolster Kumar’s claims that he and Permal were not with Prasad on the night he died.

The jury was also read translations of intercepted phone calls.

On February 2, speaking in Hindi, Kumar is heard receiving a call from his father who tells him about the discovery of Prasad’s body.

Kumar expresses surprise and protests he has nothing to worry about when his father cautions him that he will probably be questioned by police.

Earlier, the court heard Kumar transferred $14,000 into his parents’ account on January 31, the day after Prasad disappeared.

Detective Constable Simon Fraser took the High Court at Auckland through Kumar and Permal’s bank accounts before and after Prasad’s death, detailing what the Crown has characterised as a “spending spree”.

Fraser said he could account for about $24,000 of funds moving through the pairs’ accounts.

Kumar spent money on gym equipment, clothes, tattoos, alcohol and his car in the days after Prasad’s disappearance, the Crown alleges.

His “spree” also included paying court fines and transferring $14,000 into his parents’ joint account.

Fraser said Kumar and Permal’s accounts were either in overdraft or had very little money before Prasad’s death.

The Crown alleges Kumar was the instigator of the crime.

Kumar had previously borrowed $NZ7500 ($FJ 11364.55) from Prasad and had not repaid it.

In opening the case, Crown Prosecutor Aaron Perkins said on the day before the body was found, Kumar “somehow talked Prasad into parting with even more money”.

Prasad withdrew $30,050 from his bank account and Kumar was waiting for him outside the bank.

“He considered that a sum of money was worth more than Mr Prasad’s life,” Perkins said.

Tests showed petrol had been used as an accelerant and “almost certainly” Prasad was alive when he was set on fire.

Prasad was last seen alive on CCTV footage meeting Permal and Kumar at Permal’s workplace at 9.20pm on January 30 and all departing in one car.

His burned body was found on the side of a road in rural South Auckland the next day by a woman walking her dog. The trial continues.

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