Crime & Court

Authorities Beckon Accused To Stand Up For Magistrate, Remove Sunglasses In Court

Authorities had to beckon the Congo national, who is charged with the murder of his Australian wife, to observe court etiquette during his first court appearance on Monday. Kiala Marcellino
14 Aug 2019 13:51
Authorities Beckon Accused To Stand Up For Magistrate, Remove Sunglasses In Court
Murder accused Kiala Marcellino Penakoy Henri Lusaka (right) leaves the Magistrates Court in Suva on August 12, 2019. Photo: Ashna Kumar

Authorities had to beckon the Congo national, who is charged with the murder of his Australian wife, to observe court etiquette during his first court appearance on Monday.

Kiala Marcellino Penakoy Henri Lusaka, 39, appeared before Magistrate Asanga Bodaragama at the Magistrates Court in Suva.

He is charged with one count of murder of his 44-year-old wife, Jennifer Anne Downes.

The alleged incident occurred on July 23, 2019, in their rented home at Service Street, Suva.

Court proceedings

During the court proceedings on Monday, Lusaka did not stand up for the magistrate and was beckoned to do so by the Police. He also refused to remove his sunglasses despite being reminded by the court clerk.

Lusaka, with the assistance of a French translator, told the court that he did not kill his wife and that he had an alibi as a witness for his case.

Magistrate Bodaragama told the accused that he was not the High Court Judge to hear on the matter as the offense was an indictable one and could only be dealt with by the High Court.

He said to Lusaka to file any notice of alibi if he wished to do so and engage a lawyer in the meantime while awaited for his case to be called at the High Court in Suva.

Lusaka opted to be represented by a private lawyer.

Kiala Marcellino Penakoy Henri Lusaka (wearing a hood),outside the court premises in Suva on August 12, 2019. Photo: Ashna Kumar

Kiala Marcellino Penakoy Henri Lusaka (wearing a hood),outside the court premises in Suva on August 12, 2019. Photo: Ashna Kumar

Police prosecutor Constable Sitiveni Baleitaveuni had filed full phase disclosures and objected to bail for the accused on the grounds that he was facing a murder charge, which was indictable.

He also made an application for the matter to be transferred to the High Court.

He told the court that the Prosecution had a strong case against Lusaka and he was a person of public interest.

He also told the court that the prosecution was yet to obtain the post mortem examination result of the deceased.

Lusaka told the court that he was currently on a tourist visa in Fiji and it expires on August 22.

Magistrate Bodaragama remanded Lusaka in custody and transferred the matter to be called in the High Court.

He also told the accused to make an application for his preferred language at the High Court for the Registry to arrange a proper and certified French translator.

The matter was adjourned for first call in the High Court on August 26.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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