NATION

Judge Rejects Application By Defence To Withdraw Letter

High Court judge Justice Vinsent Perera on Friday rejected an application by Legal Aid Commission lawyer, Lice Manulevu, to withdraw a letter that was submitted by her client Rozleen Razia
24 Jun 2018 12:51
Judge Rejects Application By Defence To Withdraw Letter
Accused Rozleen Razia Khan (left) outside court in Suva. Photo: Fonua Talei

High Court judge Justice Vinsent Perera on Friday rejected an application by Legal Aid Commission lawyer, Lice Manulevu, to withdraw a letter that was submitted by her client Rozleen Razia Khan.

Khan, 35, is charged with the alleged murder of her four-year-old daughter on May 6, 2018.

She allegedly drove a car into the Rewa River causing her daughter’s death.

Ms Manulevu said the letter was submitted by Khan in court on June 12, 2018 without legal advice.

She said the contents of the letter were prejudicial to her client’s case.

The accused stated in the letter that she was feeling depressed and had suicidal thoughts.

Justice Perera said what was written was written and he could not ignore the letter when it came to the accused’s bail application.

He said the letter would not be used during trial unless the State wanted to question the accused about it.

While arguing her client’s bail, Ms Manulevu said the accused was willing to adhere to strict bail conditions and a curfew.

She said the State was yet to file information and disclosures for the case.

Adding that the accused was not a flight risk because she did not possess any travel documents and she had no intentions of travelling to Nadi or Vanua Levu.

Ms Manulevu submitted that the accused wanted to look after her two children who were in Year 8 and Year 12 respectively.

The children are being looked after by the accused’s parents.

In their affidavit in reply, the defence submitted that prior to being remanded the accused worked as a cashier at Rajendra Supermarket and was supporting her two children financially.

Ms Manulevu said the accused’s parents only shouldered the responsibility of looking after the  children because Khan was remanded in custody.

She said the accused could reside with her brother in Vuci Road if she was not allowed to stay in the same vicinity as her children.

She also pleaded with Justice Perera to release the accused on bail to aid in their preparations for her defence.

State lawyer Susan Serukai responded  if that was the case then every accused person who fronts the court should be released on bail to prepare for his/her defence.

She said the children were well looked after and the accused was using external exams as an excuse to be granted bail.

Ms Serukai submitted that in their affidavit they had annexed an application for the custody of the children including the deceased child, which was submitted by the accused’s husband.

She said the couple had been experiencing marital problems.

Ms Serukai stressed that there was a possibility that the accused could harm her remaining two children.

Ms Serukai added that the State had a strong case against the accused.

This was in the form of her alleged admissions and direct evidence from witnesses.

The court heard that the accused moved to Viti Levu with her husband and children in January 2018 after residing in Vanua Levu for 18 years because of her husband’s work. Justice Perera will deliver his bail ruling on June 28, 2018.

The accused has been further remanded in custody.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback:  fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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