Crime & Court

Lawyer Claims Cops On Murder Charge Were Told To Take Blame

Barbara Malimali, told the court that certain Police officers were told to change their statements or give their statements in a certain way, while her clients were told to take the blame and change their statement.
03 Aug 2019 13:38
Lawyer Claims Cops On Murder Charge Were Told To Take Blame
Ratu Selema Steven Dennis Tikoenaburevere (left) and Kelepi Duri Tautaumacala Kolinisau outside the High Court in Suva on July 19, 2019. Photo: Ashna Kumar

The lawyer representing the two suspended Police officers charged with the death of 26-year-old man last year, has alleged that they were told to take the blame.

Defence lawyer, Barbara Malimali, told the court that certain Police officers were told to change their statements or give their statements in a certain way, while her clients were told to take the blame and change their statement.

She told the court that there was an internal investigation conducted by the Police department, however, the details of the investigation was not disclosed to her.

She also told the court that the details of the internal investigation was important and relevant to the defence’s case and requested if it could be produced to her.

Kelepi Duri Tautaumacala Kolinisau and Ratu Selema Steven Dennis Tikoenaburevere who are charged in connection with the death of a Kiuva villager.

They appeared before Judge Justice Vinsent Perera at the High Court in Suva yesterday.

They are jointly charged with one count of murder of Josua Lalauvaki.

The two suspended Police officers allegedly assaulted Mr Lalauvaki after an altercation outside a Suva nightclub on September 2, 2018. Mr Lalauvaki died at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital on October 11, 2018, as a result of injuries he suffered from the alleged Police assault.

State prosecutor from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Meli Vosawale, had requested the court to vacate the trial dates for the matter as the surgeon who conducted the surgery on Mr Lalauvaki was on study leave, studying in New Zealand, and would return next year.

He told the court that there were further disclosures that the State needed time to file as the documents were yet to be obtained by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

Justice Perera said the court could not wait for the doctor to complete his studies and come back to give evidence in trial.

He said when the trial dates were fixed, the witnesses were not allowed to leave the country.

Mr Vosawale told the court that the surgeon would be giving evidence on the procedure and surgery.

The matter was adjourned for a pre-trial conference to August 30.

Bail for both the accused persons was further extended.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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