Crime & Court

Mother Gives Painful Account Of Baby’s Death

As Mereseini Rauluni wiped the tears off her face, she recalled how her four-month-old daughter died in front of her.
04 Nov 2020 08:50
Mother Gives Painful Account Of Baby’s Death
friend. She told the court that her sister shouted and they screamed for help, however, no one assisted them. Ms Rauluni then told the court that she took her daughter outside and a neighbour offered help and took them to the Military Hospital and later she also identified her daughter at the mortuary. The trial continues today. Edited by Caroline Ratucadra Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj ASHNA KUMAR SUVA Naitasiri Under-19 rugby lock, Keresi Maya, has filed a motion for a permanent stay on proceedings in the Magistrates Court in Nausori. Maya is facing a charge of assault causing actual bodily harm. It is alleged that Maya on August 29, punched the referee, Peni Talemaivavalagi, during the match between Naitasiri and Tailevu at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori. The matter was called before Justice Thushara Rajasinghe, yesterday, at the High Court in Suva. Maya, had been penalised by the Fiji Rugby Union with a ban of six years from all levels of rugby in Fiji and abroad following the alleged assault. Sevuloni Valenitabua told the court that his client was already penalised and if the proceedings in the Magistrates Court continued, and Maya was found guilty and convicted, then he would be penalised again. State respondent from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Yogesh Prasad told the court that the state would be objecting to the action and would file the submissions of objection. Mr Valenitabua will be filing his submissions on or before November 23 and Mr Prasad will be filing his response on or before December 14. The matter will be called for hearing on January 20, 2021. Edited by Selita Bolanavanua Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj COURT Maya’s lawyer files stay on proceedings MURDER TRIAL Mother Gives Painful Account of Baby’s Death

The wife of a former soldier on trial for the alleged murder of their baby gave a recollection in court of how she died before her eyes.

Mereseini Rauluni, told the High Court in Suva yesterday that the accused was drinking with his childhood friend when an argument broke out between them, and he threw a concrete brick at her which missed and hit their four-month old daughter.

Tevita Veicavuyaki Kunawave, 26, is on trial before Justice Daniel Goundar for the murder of his daughter who was one day away from turning four months old is alleged to have seriously injured his daughter resulting in her death on October 27, 2019, at their home in Nabua.

The state is represented by Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions from the Office of the DPP, Elizabeth Rice. Kunawave is represented by Thomson Lee and Watisoni Navuni from the Legal Aid Commission.

Trial Day 1:

As Mereseini Rauluni wiped the tears off her face, she recalled how her four-month-old daughter died in front of her.

Ms Rauluni took the stand in court yesterday to give evidence against her husband, Kunawave.

She told the court that he left home at 2am on the said day to party with his friends at a motel in Suva.

She told the court that a drunk Kunawave returned home after 11am with his friends, and in possession of a mobile phone which did not belong to him.

Ms Rauluni told the court that there was a picture of two women on the screen of the mobile phone, and upon questioning the accused of the phone, Kunawave told her that it belonged to a girl that he drank with at the motel.

She also recalled that Kunawave and his two friends were drinking alcohol at the veranda while she was inside the house with her sister, her friend and her children, aged 18 months and four months.

She told the court that they fought, he swore and yelled at her and he returned to his friends to continue drinking.

Ms Rauluni recalled, Kuna wave then pulled out the mesh wire and went inside the house through a window as she had locked the door preventing him from entering the house out of fear.

She also told the court that Kunawave punched her, kicked her and dragged her to their room by holding onto her hair where he further assaulted her with a thick green belt.

She told the court that after Kunawave assaulted her, he left to go back to his friends in the veranda to drink using the back door.

Ms Rauluni recalled that she locked the door again and was crying when she relayed the incident to her sister and friend who returned from a shop with her 18-month-old toddler.

She also recalled that she had thrown Kunawave’s clothes outside and heard him calling her from outside but she did not respond as she was scared.

Ms Rauluni told the court that through the curtains, she saw Kunawave stand up and bend down to where the concrete blocks were and got back up holding one of them.

She described in court that with one hand, Kunwave held the concrete block while with the other hand he had pulled out the mesh wire.

With tears rolling down her face, Ms Rauluni told the court that Kunawave threw the concrete block at her, it missed and hit their four-month-old daughter’s forehead. She was on a baby bouncer in the living room with her, her sister and her friend.

She told the court that her sister shouted and they screamed for help, however, no one assisted them.

Ms Rauluni then told the court that she took her daughter outside and a neighbour offered help and took them to the Military Hospital and later she also identified her daughter at the mortuary.

The trial continues today.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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