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Congo National Found Guilty Of The Murder Of His Wife

The couple had three children together namely Matilda aged six years, Ella Lusaka aged four years, and Henri aged three years old as at the date of the incident.
09 Aug 2022 16:09
Congo National Found Guilty Of The Murder Of His Wife
Kiala Henri Lusaka outside the Suva High court on August 8, 2022. Photo: Leon Lord

The High Court in Suva has found Congo national Kiala Marcellino Penakoy Henri Lusaka guilty of the murder of his Australian wife. Lusaka is convicted for the murder of Jennifer Anne Downes on July 23, 2019.

The court heard that there were no eyewitnesses and the prosecution was relying on circumstantial evidence to prove its case.

The couple had three children together namely Matilda aged six years, Ella Lusaka aged four years, and Henri aged three years old as at the date of the incident.

As at the time of the incident, the couple lived in a rented flat at Service Street, Domain, Suva.

Ms Downes was living in Fiji because she was working as a logistic and project officer for the World Food Programme of the United Nations covering the Pacific Region.

Ms Downes’ post mortem examination report stated that the cause of death was asphyxia due to manual strangulation.

 

According to Ms Downes father, Christopher Downes, Lusaka and Ms Downes after their marriage, travelled to Australia and lived with Mr Downes. Ms Downes, due to the nature of her employment, had to travel and at the time of her death, she was living in Fiji.

Lusaka had joined her in mid-2019 and prior to that Lusaka had been in Australia while Ms Downes worked overseas. When Lusaka was in Fiji, he communicated with Mr Downes through Messenger and WhatsApp.

The court heard that a photo of Ms Downes dead with two coins on her eyes and bruises on the neck was sent to her father.

High Court Judge Justice Kulatunga Mudiyanselage Gihan Himanshu Kulatunga ruled that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and that Lusaka committed the offence with an intention to cause Ms Downes’ death.

The matter has been adjourned for the sentencing on Wednesday.

 

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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