NEWS

Two Persons, One Name, Causes Confusion In Court

When Temo first appeared at the Magistrates Court in Suva in August last year, he was remanded in custody and the matter was transferred to the High Court.
15 Jun 2019 09:59
Two Persons, One Name, Causes Confusion In Court
This Saula Temo (wearing a blue Bula shirt) originally appeared when the case was called in the Suva Magistrates Court.

A case of mistaken identity is causing confusion among the judiciary, leaving the prosecution’s case hanging by a thread.

The case is against a Saula Temo who is charged with one count of murder of a 20-year-old tertiary student, Akuila Salavuki, in May 2018.

When Temo first appeared at the Magistrates Court in Suva in August last year, he was remanded in custody and the matter was transferred to the High Court.

He then appeared at the High Court in Suva in September 2018 and was further remanded in custody.

Temo’s case was called before Judge Justice Vinsent Perera yesterday, however, the accused failed to appear in court.

In April this year, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions lawyer Sujata Lodhia had told the court that the accused was a serving prisoner when the matter was first called and as per their information, the accused had served his sentence and was released from the Corrections facility.

The prosecutor had told the court that the State was to check on the reasons for his release before checking on the other matters.

In May this year, State prosecutor Lavenia Bogitini had told the court that the State was informed by the Fiji Corrections Service that there were two people with the name Saula Temo at the remand centre and the State was in the process to ascertain which of the two was charged with the murder.

Justice Perera had then questioned the prosecutor as to how the authorities were saying there were two persons by that name and they were not aware of which one was charged for murder.

The State had then sought for time to find out on the circumstances of the claim.

In court yesterday, State prosecutor Eoghan Samisoni told the court that the State was yet to find out the whereabouts of the accused and requested for time to do it.

Justice Perera issued a production order and extended the bench warrant for the accused.

The case was adjourned to July 5 for mention.

Charge:

Temo is charged with one count of murder and is suspected of having killed a student at the Fiji Development Bank car park on May 17, 2018, Temo is alleged to have hit Mr Salavuki’s head with a piece of timber and as a result caused 23-year-old Mr Salavuki’s death.

On May 17, 2018, it is alleged that the accused was dancing with Mr Salavuki at a popular Suva nightclub after which they left the club together and were allegedly seen walking hand in hand to the back of the FDB. Mr Salavuki was found lying in a pool of blood by two men the next day. Temo was arrested after weeks of investigation.

Edited by Susana Tuilau

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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