Crime & Court

Men In Group Who Allegedly Attacked Police Officers In Nabua Deny Charges

The nine accused are Jone Vakarisi, Tevita Bulanaivalu, Ledua Gudru, Sekove Serukalou, Jese Sorovi, Toni Sokoiwasa, Chanel Antonio, Mark Ross and Semisi Rabakoko.
15 Jan 2020 15:26
Men In Group Who Allegedly Attacked Police Officers In Nabua Deny Charges
From left: Ledua Gudru, Jone Vakarisi and Tevita Bulanaivalu outside the Magistrates Court in Suva on January 14, 2020. Photo: Ashna Kumar

Members of a group of nine men involved in the alleged attack on Police officers in Nabua in 2018 gave evidence during their hearing at the Magistrates Court in Suva yesterday.

The nine accused are Jone Vakarisi, Tevita Bulanaivalu, Ledua Gudru, Sekove Serukalou, Jese Sorovi, Toni Sokoiwasa, Chanel Antonio, Mark Ross and Semisi Rabakoko.

Their charges range from assault, resisting arrest and criminal intimidation among others.

The charges:

The nine accused persons are each charged with one count of being equipped for a property offence, seven counts of criminal intimidation, one count of damaging property, and one count of resisting arrest.

From left: Mark Ross and Toni Sokoiwasa outside the Magistrates Court in Suva on January 14, 2020. Photo: Ashna Kumar

From left: Mark Ross and Toni Sokoiwasa outside the Magistrates Court in Suva on January 14, 2020. Photo: Ashna Kumar

It is alleged that on August 3, 2018, the nine accused persons, while travelling in vehicles, were equipped with cane knives with the intention of committing a property offence.

It is also alleged that on the same day, the nine accused persons, without lawful excuse, with intent to cause alarm threatened to kill five Police officers. These alleged incidents took place in Nabua.

They are also alleged to have willfully and unlawfully damaged the rear left door glass, rear left door glass outlet moulding, rear windscreen, front bumper bar, left head lamp, and bonnet of a Police vehicle valued at $3095, the property of Fiji Police Force.

All nine of the accused are also alleged to have resisted arrest from Police constables while the Police constables were in execution of their duty.

From left: Semisi Rabakoko and Chanel Antonio outside the Magistrates Court in Suva on January 14, 2020. Photo: Ashna Kumar

From left: Semisi Rabakoko and Chanel Antonio outside the Magistrates Court in Suva on January 14, 2020. Photo: Ashna Kumar

Hearing:

Vakarisi took the stand as a defence witness yesterday.

He told the court that he did not know about the allegations against him and that he was not in Suva.

He also told the court that at the time of the alleged incidents, he was at his home in Sukanaivalu Road in Nabua.

Vakarisi told the court that he did not threaten anyone or any Police officers and that the Police had put false charges against him.

From left: Ledua Gudru and Jone Vakarisi outside the Magistrates Court in Suva on January 14, 2020. Photo: Ashna Kumar

From left: Ledua Gudru and Jone Vakarisi outside the Magistrates Court in Suva on January 14, 2020. Photo: Ashna Kumar

Cross examination:

Vakarisi was questioned by the Police prosecution on why he did not report about the false charges laid on him to the relevant authorities. Vakarisi said he did mention it to the Police and was not lying about his evidence.

Bulanaivalu, the second accused in the matter, had exercised his right to remain silent. Gudru, told the court he was at his house in Cunningham on the day of the alleged incident. He did not agree with any of the allegations against him.

Tevita Bulanaivalu outside the Magistrates Court in Suva on January 14, 2020 Photo: Ashna Kumar

Tevita Bulanaivalu outside the Magistrates Court in Suva on January 14, 2020
Photo: Ashna Kumar

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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