NEWS

Lakena Bus Accident: Bus Company Owners Allegedly Tell Driver, Bus Had No Mechanical Fault

He said there was compelling evidence against the accused, the incident had generated public interest and for the safety of the accused as the two that lost their lives were of a tender age.
13 Oct 2019 11:27
Lakena Bus Accident: Bus Company Owners Allegedly Tell Driver, Bus Had No Mechanical Fault
Bus driver, Salesh Jattan is escorted by Police officers at the Magistrates Court in Nausori during a special court sitting on October 12, 2019.Photo: Ronald Kumar

The owners of the bus company involved in the Lakena Hill Road fatal accident on Wednesday, allegedly told the driver to say there was no mechanical fault in the bus. Legal Aid Commission defence counsel Shomal Kant told Magistrate Shageeth Somaratne this when she argued for bail for her client Salesh Jattan in the Magistrates Court in Nausori yesterday.

Jattan is charged with two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death, two counts of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm and one of dangerous driving.

He has been remanded by the court until Monday for a proper bail hearing to take place.

Prosecutor Yasin Ali told the court that the State objected to bail because the charges were serious.

He said there was compelling evidence against the accused, the incident had generated public interest and for the safety of the accused as the two that lost their lives were of a tender age.

Ms Kant said she agreed the case was of national interest but argued there was no risk or threats to the accused as the residents of Lakena had come forward and said it was not Jattan’s fault.

She said Jattan did not reside in Nausori. She said Jattan did not even have a passport and had no intention of applying for one either.

She said Jattan was the sole breadwinner for his family. Ms Kant highlighted that Jattan needed an MRI scan and he himself was a survivor of the horrific crash.

She said she also had two strong sureties.

Ms Kant then told the court that she was informed by Jattan that the owners of the bus company had approached him in remand to say that there were no mechanical problems with the bus.

Mr Somaratne said the argument on compelling evidence against the accused will be decided during trial.

He said he wanted a proper bail hearing to take place tomorrow. Jattan was remanded until then.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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