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Further Remand For 5 Men Accused Of Assaulting Police Officer

Further Remand For 5 Men Accused Of Assaulting Police Officer
Four of the five men accused of assaulting a Police officer heading to court in Suva on April 27, 2018. Photo: Fonua Talei
April 28
11:10 2018

They face two counts of act with intent to cause grievous harm and aggravated robbery.

The five accused men who are alleged to have assaulted a Police officer in Tamavua on April 15, 2018, have been further re­manded by the High Court in Suva.

The accused, Asaeli Matai, 21, Ledua Malakai, 18, Ratu Ilaitia Va­rani, 22, Filipe Lesi, 33, and Losalini Moce, 53, appeared before Justice Riyaz Hamza.

State lawyer Shirley Tivao in­formed the court of their charges.

The five men face two counts of act with intent to cause grievous harm and aggravated robbery.

On the day of the alleged incident the men unlawfully wounded Police Constable Suliano Vasuitoga, 37, causing him grievous bodily harm.

After the alleged assault, they allegedly robbed him of a Police torchlight, a USB flash drive and $50 in cash, all to the total value of $140.22, the property of Constable Vasuitoga.

Ratu Ilaitia told Justice Hamza they had photographic evidence of a man who was allegedly assaulted by two Police officers at the material time.

He said the man had been drink­ing alcohol with a group of men and they were the ones who assaulted the Police officer.

The first accused, Matai, said Ratu Ilaitia, Lesi and Moce had been wrongly charged for the offence.

Ms Tivao told Justice Hamza she had no information of Police as­saulting anyone regarding the case.

Justice Hamza told the men he could do nothing because the case was only for the first call in the High Court.

He told them that the information could be presented as evidence at the right time.

He then advised them to seek ad­vice from a lawyer who would better instruct them about what they had to say to the court.

Their right to a lawyer was put to them in court whereby Matai, Malakai and Varani waived their rights and represent themselves in their case.

Lesi and Moce told the court they would engage a private lawyer to represent them.

All accused men were further re­manded in custody and the case had been adjourned to May 18, 2018.

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj

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