Crime & Court

Bail Denied For Alleged Cop Killer

Accused Lalaobouma also requested for bail on the grounds that he wished to seek forgiveness from the family of the late Constable Niumataiwalu
25 Oct 2019 12:19
Bail Denied For Alleged Cop Killer
Murder accused Vilimoni Lalaobouma is escorted out of the Lautoka Magistrates Court on October 24, 2019. Photo: Salote Qalubau

A curious crowd of onlookers thronged the Lautoka Magistrates Court yesterday to catch a glimpse of the 20-year-old man charged with the death of a Police officer who was allegedly stabbed in execution of his duty.

Vilimoni Lalaobouma was denied bail and his case transferred to the High Court when he appeared before Magistrate Nayani Kasturirathne.

He faces one count of murder, one count of robbery, one count of theft and a count of serious assault.

The charges were read out to the accused in iTaukei language to which he indicated that he understood and requested for a Legal Aid Commission lawyer.

It is alleged that on October 21, just several hours after he was released on bail by the Nadi Magistrates Court for a separate case of alleged theft, the accused assaulted and robbed a 52-year-old farmer along Saweni Street in Lautoka.

Murder accused Vilimoni Lalaobouma is escorted out of the Lautoka Magistrates Court on October 24, 2019. Photo: Salote Qalubau

Murder accused Vilimoni Lalaobouma is escorted out of the Lautoka Magistrates Court on October 24, 2019. Photo: Salote Qalubau

The court heard the accused allegedly stole the victim’s bag containing clothes, shoes, cash and a kitchen knife which was later identified as the murder weapon. The accused then allegedly robbed a 32-year-old driver near Vitogo Parade.

The late 24-year-old Police Constable, Siuta Niumataiwalu, pursued the accused and apprehended him, however the accused allegedly took out a kitchen knife and stabbed him, the court heard.

Prosecutor Ratu Josaia Niudamu told the court that disclosures were yet to be served and requested that the matter be transferred to the High Court in Lautoka due to the nature of the offence. He also objected to bail on these grounds.

Mr Niudamu told the court that if the accused was to be released on bail, he would likely re-offend and therefore was a danger to public.

He said the case was of national interest and that Lalaobouma made detailed admissions in his caution interview.

Murder accused Vilimoni Lalaobouma is escorted out of the Lautoka Magistrates Court on October 24, 2019. Photo: Salote Qalubau

Murder accused Vilimoni Lalaobouma is escorted out of the Lautoka Magistrates Court on October 24, 2019. Photo: Salote Qalubau

Lalaobouma requested for bail on the grounds that he wished to seek forgiveness from the family of the late Mr Niumataiwalu. He said he understood the seriousness of the offence and sought forgiveness from the court.

But Magistrate Kasturirathne refused him bail and ordered that the matter be transferred to the High Court in Lautoka next month.

The case has been adjourned to November 7, and the accused is further remanded.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: salote.qalubau@fijisun.com.fj

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