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5 acquitted of manslaughter, lack of evidence Five men charged with manslaughter were acquitted by the High Court in Suva on Monday because of a lack of evidence by the
24 May 2017 11:44
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5 acquitted of manslaughter, lack of evidence

Five men charged with manslaughter were acquitted by the High Court in Suva on Monday because of a lack of evidence by the prosecution.

Sekope Toduadua, James Netani, Josese Rainima Tawake, Netani Takelo and Sekope Seduadua Toduadua walked out the courtroom free and relieved. The five were charged with the death of one Savenaca Masi of Lami in 2014.

Justice Vincent Perera said the prosecution had relied on  the principle of joint enterprise.

The prosecution alleged that the five had common intention to prosecute an unlawful purpose and the offence of manslaughter was committed in the prosecution of the unlawful purpose.

Justice Perera further stated that the prosecution’s case was that the five accused chased the victim and the second, third and fifth accused kicked and punched him.

According to prosecution, the fourth accused had encouraged the assault. They further claimed that the substantial punch from the first accused had contributed to the death of the victim.

However, in evidence the first, second and fourth witness identified that the first accused was trying to save the victim from the punches.

Justice Perera also noted the inconsistency in the answers of the witnesses.

Therefore the evidence available in the case was not sufficient to prove beyond reasonable doubt that first accused had committed the manslaughter.

Thus, he did not find the five guilty of manslaughter and acquitted them.

Two of the assessors had also found all five not guilty while one gave a mixed opinion.

ARISHMA DEVI-NARAYAN

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

 

Trial date set for Ganesh Chand case

The trial of the former vice-chancellor of the Fiji National University, Ganesh Chand, charged with abuse of office will begin next year.

Chand appeared before Suva High Court Judge Justice Riyaz Humza yesterday, represented by Devanesh Sharma.

Justice Humza stated that the trial would start from July 18, 2018, to July 27, 2018, at the High Court in Suva.

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) had charged Chand in 2015 for one count of abuse of office.

It is alleged that Chand while being employed in the public service as the vice-chancellor of FNU, in abuse of the authority of his office, did an arbitrary acts for the purpose of gain.

Joseph Work appeared for the prosecution.

ARISHMA DEVI-NARAYAN

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

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