FIJI NEWS

Cops deny brutality claim

Written By : CAROLINE DELAIVONI. A badly injured man now bedridden at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital yesterday claimed police assaulted him during an arrest on Thursday. Tabua Koroi could
02 Jan 2009 12:00

image Written By : CAROLINE DELAIVONI. A badly injured man now bedridden at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital yesterday claimed police assaulted him during an arrest on Thursday.
Tabua Koroi could only whisper audibly that he was hit and punched by police officers on New Year’s Day at Tacirua village.
But the Fiji Police Force has denied these allegations saying that Mr Koroi fell off a cliff while he was trying to escape from police.
His wife Ma Lewa said her husband who was drinking alcohol with a group of boys at the village was arrested by police officers from the Ready Action Unit.
When the Fiji Sun saw Mr Koroi at his hospital bed, his head was heavily bandaged because of a deep gash, his eyes and face were severely swollen and he suffered broken teeth and bruised lips.
Mr Koroi’s back and hands were badly bruised.
This followed an incident after 4pm in which a mini-van driver and his passengers fell victim to those splashing water on passing vehicles on New Year’s Day.
It is understood the van driver confronted the drinking party as to who threw something at his vehicle, resulting in broken windows.
The driver then reported the matter at Dokanaisuva Police Post and was later accompanied by a police officer later that evening.
Ms Lewa said a couple of vehicles with officers came and arrested all the men drinking in the area who were taken to the Valelevu Police Station for questioning.
She said children who were witness to the incident said her husband was punched and beaten with a baton by police officers.
The police have vehemently denied such an assault saying that Mr Koroi fell off a cliff while on the run.
Police deputy director operations Superintendents Erami Raibe confirmed that seven men were arrested at from Tacirua village in relation to throwing stones and assaulting the van driver.
SSP Raibe said Mr Koroi was too drunk at the time of the incident.
He said Mr Koroi was injured because he fell heavily on his face from a nearby cliff.




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