NEWS

Musician Held In Arms Case

A 55-year-old local musician alleged to have been found with 22 (9-millimetre) live ammunition in his home in Domain Road appeared in the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday. The accused, Samuela
16 Mar 2018 10:00
Musician Held In Arms Case
Accused Samuela Waqa outside the Suva Magistrates Court on March 15, 2018. Photo: Fonua Talei

A 55-year-old local musician alleged to have been found with 22 (9-millimetre) live ammunition in his home in Domain Road appeared in the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday.

The accused, Samuela Waqa, appeared before Magistrate Asanga Bodaragama represented by private lawyer Iqbal Khan.

Waqa is charged with one count of being found in possession of ammunition.

Police Prosecutor Sergeant Luke Qerawaqa served the accused with full phase disclosures in court and objected to bail.

Mr Khan requested the court to defer his client’s plea to enable the defence to peruse the disclosures.

Sergeant Qerawaqa said the case was serious as it was of public interest.

He said the accused was a known offender and had previous convictions.

Mr Khan said the accused was arrested on March 7, 2018 at around 11am and had been in police custody until his production in court yesterday.

Mr Khan said he had been remanded for more than 48 hours which was in violation of the Fiji Constitution, and an extension for remand could only be given by the High Court.

Police Prosecutor Inspector Jitendra Singh, in assisting the court, stated that a remand warrant was issued and the file was called in Magistrate Court No.5 at an earlier date.

In response Mr Khan argued that the Magistrates Court did not have powers to extend the remand period, adding that the prosecution did not come with “clean hands’’.

He highlighted a similar case from Sigatoka which was presided over by High Court judge Justice Thushara Rajasinghe, who stated that holding an accused in remand for more than 48 hours was in breach of the Constitution.

Mr Khan mentioned that his client was willing to take a progressive approach and there was no point in keeping him in remand any longer.

He suggested that his client be granted bail with strict conditions and two sureties.

Magistrate Bodaragama refused the accused’s bail and adjourned the case to March 19, 2018 for mention before Magistrate Deepika Prakash.

The accused has been remanded until then.

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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