Crime & Court

Justice Goundar Allows Kunawave’s Statement To Be Used As State Evidence

Kunawave is charged with the murder of his daughter, Suliana Talemaitoga Kunawave, who was one day away from turning four months old.
11 Nov 2020 10:47
Justice Goundar Allows Kunawave’s Statement To Be Used As State Evidence
Tevita Veicavuyaki Kunawave.

High Court judge, Justice Daniel Goundar, yesterday ruled that Tevita Kunawave’s charge statement was admissible in court.

Justice Goundar’s ruling was based from defence’s objection on the State’s application to use the accused’s charge statement as prosecution evidence.

Kunawave is charged with the murder of his daughter, Suliana Talemaitoga Kunawave, who was one day away from turning four months old.

The incident happened on October 27, 2019, at their home in Nabua.

Defence argued that the statement was obtained unfairly in breach of the accused’s right under the 2013 Constitution.

Kunawave is represented by lawyers Thomson Lee and Watisoni Navuni from the Legal Aid Commission.

The state is represented by Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions from the Office of the DPP, Elizabeth Rice.

The court heard that Constable Laisa Kuyaca, based at Raiwaqa Police Station and was in service for the last 20 years, said he had witnessed the charge statement of Kunawave.

A detective constable, he said, was also present and signed the documents as witness. He said the accused’s rights were read out to him.

The following digitally-recorded statement by Kunawave was read out in court by Constable Kuyaca:

“It was not my intention to kill Suliana Talemaitoga Kunawave, my youngest daughter.

“I have three daughters and two of them are about to attend school.

“They need my support as I am the sole breadwinner in the family.

“I wish to seek forgiveness in this honourable court for my actions and that I be given a second chance.”

After Constable Kuyaca read the above, he told the court that there was no force, threat or false promises made to Kunawave at any point.

The trial continues before Justice Goundar today.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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