NEWS

Driver Charged With Manslaughter ‘Drove While Disqualified’

The 30-year-old driver who was allegedly involved in the fatal Valelevu accident over the weekend which claimed the life of a 26-year-old woman, had been allegedly driving while disqualified. This
20 Sep 2018 11:41
Driver Charged With  Manslaughter ‘Drove  While Disqualified’
Viliame Raubulu Ratoto outside Nasinu Court on September 19, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The 30-year-old driver who was allegedly involved in the fatal Valelevu accident over the weekend which claimed the life of a 26-year-old woman, had been allegedly driving while disqualified.

This was revealed in the Nasinu Magistrates Court yesterday when the accused, Viliame Raibulu Ratoto, appeared before Magistrate Charles Ratakele, and was represented by Legal Aid Commission duty solicitor Shavleen Prasad.

Police Prosecutor Special Constable Gajendra Prasad appeared for the State and informed Magistrate Ratakele that the accused had been allegedly disqualified by Magistrate Sufia Hamza in July this year from driving for six months.

Ratoto is charged with one count each of manslaughter and breach of zero alcohol limit and two counts of dangerous driving occasioning grievous harm.

On the first count of manslaughter, it is alleged that on September 16, 2018, the accused engaged in a conduct by driving a motor vehicle with registration number EVENTS which refers to the event management subsidiary of Communications Fiji Limited (CFL) which is Total Event Co. It is alleged that the accused was driving  in a manner which was reckless and caused serious harm to Archana Amrita Chand, which resulted in her death.

For the second count, on the same day Ratoto allegedly drove the vehicle along Kanace Road in Valelevu in a manner which was dangerous to the public having regards to all the circumstances of the case, as a result caused bodily injuries to 35-year-old Anjula Chand.

He is also alleged to have caused bodily injuries to Privasinal Chand, 33, and allegedly had a concentration of 156.2 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of his blood which was in excess of the prescribed limit.

Constable Prasad served the accused with full phase disclosures and advanced strong objections to bail.

He submitted that the accused was charged with manslaughter which was an indictable offence only triable in the High Court, adding that the accused should file a formal bail application.

Ms Prasad stated that defence would file the accused’s bail application in the High Court in Suva since the case was being transferred there.

The accused was further remanded in custody and will appear for first call in the High Court on September 28, 2018.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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