NEWS

Karunaratne, Bulitavo Case Gets New Magistrate

  Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili yesterday disqualified himself in the sedition-related case of Jagath Karunaratne and Member of Parliament Mosese Bulitavo sedition related case because of a conflict of interest.
22 Nov 2016 11:00
Karunaratne,  Bulitavo Case Gets New Magistrate

 

Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili yesterday disqualified himself in the sedition-related case of Jagath Karunaratne and Member of Parliament Mosese Bulitavo sedition related case because of a conflict of interest.

Chief Magistrate Ratuvili said he had a close relationship with the late Reverend Manasa Lasaro, who was named as a player in the trial by prosecution witness, Eroni Takape.

The prosecution had submitted that Chief Magistrate Ratuvili could not continue to preside over this case when evidence will be heard relating to the involvement of the late Reverend Lasaro in the event around the offending.

The matter has now been transferred to Magistrate Shageeth Somaratne.

“If however the accused are happy for Magistrate Somaratne to rely on the records so far then that is for him to decide based on his discretion,” Chief Magistrate Ratuvili said.

“I hereby recuse myself and order a trial de novo before RM Somaratne who shall take over the proceedings.”

Karunaratne and Bulitavo are charged with spreading seditious comments in public in 2011.

The case has been adjourned to December 30.

Two assessors find Rawat guilty  of murder

In the murder trial of Tarun Kumar Rawat, two assessors have found him guilty of murder while another found him guilty of the alternative charge of manslaughter.

The case was called before Judge Justice Salesi Temo at the High Court in Suva yesterday.

Rawat is charged with the murder of a hotel manager, Tevita Tabua, on July 21, 2011, at Nadi.

In the one week trial the court heard that Rawat was in a sexual relationship with the deceased since 2010 and had numerous sexual encounters with him.

The defence had argued that Rawat did not have the intension to kill but only meant to cause serious harm to the deceased.

The State argues from day one of the trial that Rawat’s conduct showed he had intention to kill with the way he had left the deceased to die and did not take him to a hospital.

Justice Temo will deliver his judgment later today.

 

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  jessica.gounder@fijisun.com.fj

 



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