Crime & Court

Health Minister Takes Stand In Lalauvaki Murder Trial

“Our team saw the patient, concurred with the findings and did an urgent CT scan, which showed freed air… suggesting a rupture,” Dr Waqainabete said.
22 Oct 2019 12:59
Health Minister Takes Stand In Lalauvaki Murder Trial
Suspended Police officers Selema Tikoenaburevere and Kelepi Kolinisau outside Court. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

The Minister for Health and Medical Services, Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete took the stand in the murder trial of a 26-year-old in the High Court in Suva yesterday.

Former Police officers Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere, who are jointly charged with one count of murder, appeared before High Court Judge Justice Vincent Perera.

It is alleged the two assaulted Josua Lalauvaki after an altercation outside a Suva nightclub on September 2, 2018.

Mr Lalauvaki died a few weeks later at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital as a result of the injuries he suffered from the alleged assault.

Dr Waqainabete told the court that he had received a call from Dr Timoci, for his expert opinion, on which a young man with the history of blood abdominal trauma.

“Our team saw the patient, concurred with the findings and did an urgent CT scan, which showed freed air… suggesting a rupture,” Dr Waqainabete said.

“I agreed for an urgent operation. However, the operation showed he had 2.4 to 2.5 litres of fluids, which was smelling of feces.

“We had closed the patient up and brought him to Intensive Care, in keeping with best practice for abdominal trauma.

“The patient was on life support and had necessary intensive care treatment, which in the next few days and weeks need venting supporting through ventilation, chemo dialysis for his kidney.”

Dr Waqainabete told the court that a direct kick or punch liken to a traffic accident could have caused such trauma.

The man died a month after the alleged incident.

Defence lawyer Barbara Malimali, in her cross examination, asked Dr Waqainabete if he had examined Josua initially. Dr Waqainabete said no.

Ms Malimali also asked if the patient had sustained head trauma. Dr Waqainabete said no.

The defence is expected to call six witnesses including the two accused. The trial continues today.

Kolinisau was represented by Barbara Malimali while Akuila Naco appeared for Tikoenaburevere.

Senior lawyer Meli Vosawale represented the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution.

Edited by Percy Kean

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