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Bail For Mother Charged With Harbouring

Bail For Mother Charged With Harbouring
Twenty nine year old , Lusiane Talei Mataiasi outside the Nadi Magistrate Court on 31 July 2018. PHOTO: ARIETA VAKASUKAWAQA
August 01
11:29 2018

The Nadi Magistrates Court  yesterday granted bail to a 29- year-old mother charged with two separate counts of harbouring an escapee.

This was on the grounds that she needed to breastfeed her baby.

It is alleged that on the July 19 and 21,  Lusiane Mataiasi had knowingly and without lawful excuse assisted escapee, Nacanieli Bakata, who was her defacto partner.

It is alleged that the incident took place at a sugarcane farm in Korociri Settlement in Nadi, where Mataiasi allegedly had sexual intercourse with the escapee, offered food and cigarettes too.

She appeared before Magistrate Sudarshini Kannangara.

It has also been confirmed that Bakata was apprehended by Police at Namara Settlement in Tacirua on Monday night with Ilaitia Vuivuda.

The third accused, Josaia Leone is still on the run.

They escaped from Police custody in Nadi on July 17.

State Prosecutor, Sergeant Dinesh Chand objected to bail on grounds that the offence was serious and that she had committed the offences on two separate days.

“She has admitted committing this particular offence where she provided food and sex to the escapee, this is a strong case,” he said.

Defence lawyer, Anil Singh told the Court said that the offence wasn’t criminal in
nature because her defacto partner wanted to see the baby.

He said that as a woman, the accused didn’t have much power to fight for her rights, such was the system in our society adding that she was still breastfeeding her baby.

Mr Singh said that there would be psychological impacts on the baby, if it was separated from the mother and it would be difficult for the mother to breastfeed her child while in remand.

Sergeant Chand in his response said that the baby could be looked after by the accused in laws and the remand centre in Natabua, Lautoka provided facilities where the baby could be breastfed.

Ms Mataiasi will appear on October 24 for plea before the Nadi Magistrates Court.

Edited by Percy Kean



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