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BRIEFLY – IN Court

BRIEFLY – IN Court
October 13
10:46 2017

Changing lawyers won’t grant you bail,  Rape accused told

A man charged with the rape of a three-year-old was told yesterday that changing lawyers would not grant him bail.

Suva High Court judge Justice Raiyaz Hamza told this to the accused who allegedly raped his adopted daughter in Navua in March this year.

The accused had been denied bail twice and has also changed lawyers twice since.

Representing the 32-year-old accused now is Aseri Vakaloloma, who told the court that they were not applying for bail, but were ready to proceed with the hearing of the case. Therefore, the court proceeded to discuss the details for a hearing.

The prosecution made an application for the evidence of the child victim to be in a closed court behind the screen. In addition, it has asked for a support person for the victim to be with her while she gives evidence.

Mr Vakaloloma said he did not want the support person to be a family member of the victim, but suggested a female Police officer instead.

Prosecution then presented that the purpose of the support person was to provide support to the victim and that would not be possible with a stranger.

The court has adjourned the matter to November 2, for prosecution to update the defence lawyer and the court on the name of the support person. The trial begins on November 13.

Arishma Devi-Narayan

Court orders  medical check  for accused

A Suva Magistrate yesterday instructed an investigating officer to take an accused person for a medical check-up after he complained of being allegedly assaulted while in Police custody.

The 42-year-old Nemani Kaverevere, who is charged with one count of serious assault of a Police officer, was directed to undergo medical examination after he complained to Magistrate Warleen George.

Magistrate George made this decision after she instructed a court clerk to verify if the accused was making an honest claim.

The court clerk confirmed that Kaverevere had bruises on his back.

The accused further faces a charge of disorderly conduct at Lami Police Station, which was in public access. The accused allegedly assaulted the Police officer while the officer was executing his duty and was later swearing and shouting inside the Police station.

Both incidents allegedly occurred on October 10.

The accused is also alleged to have stolen a fibreglass boat and being found in possession of drugs.

Magistrate George has adjourned the matter for Police to submit the medical report of the accused to court today.

Arishma Devi-Narayan

Taxi driver gets 3 years for stabbing fellow cabbie

A 43-year-old taxi driver of Narere in Nasinu was sentenced to three years and four months in jail yesterday after he pleaded guilty to stabbing another taxi driver on the shoulder, neck and head.

On February 9 last year at about 7:40pm the 48-year-old complainant had dropped off some passengers behind the MHCC complex in Suva.

The accused, Aman Jeet Lal, was parked in front of the complainant and was loading items into his taxi boot when he recognised the complainant’s taxi and walked over to him.

Lal questioned the complainant as to why he swore at him to which the complainant responded that he was mistaken.

With intent to cause grievous harm to the complainant, Lal punched the complainant, took out a knife from his back pocket and stabbed the complainant several times.

The complainant defended himself with his arms. After stabbing the complainant, Lal walked back to his taxi.

The complainant presented himself at the Totogo Police Station and was conveyed to the Colonial War Memorial Hospital where he was admitted at the Acute Surgical Ward.

While sentencing Lal, Magistrate Shageeth Somaratne noted that the accused was married with two children and was the sole breadwinner of the family.

He was also a type 2 diabetes patient and was remorseful for his actions. It was revealed that Lal was provoked by the complainant and instead of settling the problem peacefully he decided to take the law in to his own hands and punish the complainant.

“Considering the nature of the attack and the weapon used the victim is fortunate to survive with these kinds of injuries, but your behaviour needs to be denounced with a suitable sentence,” Magistrate Somaratne said.

The accused was ordered to serve two years of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

Fonua Talei

Three Chinese  businessmen face $0.7m fraud charges

A prosecution witness yesterday told the Suva Magistrates Court that there were no findings that would establish the involvement of three Chinese businessmen facing money laundering charges of about $700,000.

When put by defence lawyer Neel Shivam cross examining Sergeant Satish Chand whether there were any findings established of the three, Sergeant Chand replied in the negative.

Wang Hannan, Xuhuan Yang and Guangwu Wang, are alleged between June 18, 2015 and June 22, 2015, engaged directly or indirectly in transactions involving ANZ bank accounts to the total sum of $700,000.00 which were proceeds of crime.

The court heard the bank accounts were opened by one other person, Hamming Xu who had deposited money in the particular account.

Mr Shivam also established through Sergeant Chand that Hamming and others could not be found because they possibly carried fake passports and thus were never interviewed by Police.

Hamming went by other names as well. The three businessmen were only apprehended after Police found their name contact and other details on a cheque of the ANZ Bank account holders, who, up until yesterday had not been established by Police.

This was confirmed by Sergeant Chand.  Mr Shivam clarified the details of the cheque.

The basis of Mr Shivam’s argument is that his clients had nothing to do with the fraud as their cheque was only for business purpose.

He said his clients received six cheques from the bank account holders because they had purchased goods from them.

Sergeant Chand was tipped off of the alleged crime by an ANZ bank staff who presented him the report and photo of the offender.

But the photo as well Sergeant Chand confirmed did not belong to any of the accused present in court.

Mr Shivam therefore argued that his clients were genuine investors in Fiji and they decently engaged with local and foreign traders.

Arishma Devi-Narayan

Edited by Rusiate Mataika  and Karalaini Waqanidrola

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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