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45 Nabua Brawlers Will Spend Their Fiji Day Locked Up!

Tension in Nabua following the recent brawl is high posing a threat and fear amongst Nabua communities. This was said in court by Director Prosecutions, Senior Superintendent of Police Sakeo
08 Oct 2021 10:00
45 Nabua Brawlers Will Spend Their Fiji Day Locked Up!
Police officers monitor the large crowd outside Nasova Police Academy where the 45 accused from Nabua brawl appeared in a special Court in Nasova on 7, October 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Tension in Nabua following the recent brawl is high posing a threat and fear amongst Nabua communities.

This was said in court by Director Prosecutions, Senior Superintendent of Police Sakeo Raikaci while objecting to bail of 45 Nabua brawlers in court yesterday.

The 45 accused are Sekove Serukalou, Maciu Tamani, Nimilote Qovu, John Shackley, Lenaitasi Kasa, Siteri Tavu, Isoa Vavala, Carl Ligairi, Timoci Ravudi, Eorni Seru, Semi Saulaki Navonu, Mark Wayne Qaqanilawa, Rupeni Savu, Josua Qaqanivalu, Loroisio Salaba, Jovesa Edward, Anare Sawailau, Anare Mualevu, Lino Faitala, Semi Davui, Vilikesa Ranatora, Nepote Cama, Peni Waqa, Rusiate Togatogarua, Kitione Rawalai, Peni Rokotavaga, Sailasa Leqeti, Jalesi Radrodro, Savenaca Koro, Taniela Kepa, Timoci Vakarewa, Samuela Ledua, Michael Fifita, Netani Tokalauvere, Mosese mamafainoa, Sunia Radrodro, Jeremaia Ubitau, Apitalala Raikuna, Maikeli Rokoua, Kafomika Foumanu, Ilisoni Tawake, Josaia Ratumaitavuki, Sairusi Matia, Sakeasi Rosakuwai and Joeli Taura.

Police officers monitor the large crowd outside Nasova Police Academy as 45 accuse from Nabua brawl appeared in a special Court in Nasova on 7, October 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Police officers monitor the large crowd outside Nasova Police Academy as 45 accuse from Nabua brawl appeared in a special Court in Nasova on 7, October 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

The 14 juveniles are aged between 12 and 17 years old.

All 59 of them are charged with one count each of unlawful procession, malicious act, criminal intimidation, disobedience of lawful order, and throwing of stones.

The 45 men appeared before the Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili at the Fiji Police Force Academy while the juveniles appeared before Magistrate Joseph Daurewa at the Magistrates Court in Suva.

There was a heavy police presence at the academy in Nasova, Suva, as family and friends of the 45 men waited outside in the rain to meet them.

Police prosecutors’ team inclusive of Inspector Josua Shaw, Constable Sanil Kumar, and Director Prosecutions SSP Raikaci.

The 45 men were represented by the Legal Aid Commission, private counsels Shahrukh Ali, Joji Cakau and Savenaca Komaisavai appeared.

One of the 45 men that were remanded in Custody over Nabua brawl during special Court sitting at Police Academy in Nasova on 7, October 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

One of the 45 men that were remanded in Custody over Nabua brawl during special Court sitting at Police Academy in Nasova on 7, October 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Case of 45 men:

The defence counsels sought bail for their clients however, SSP Raikaci objected to bail on the grounds that the accused persons were to be remanded in their best interest of.

SSP Raikaci said people living in Nabua were living in fear and were victimised due to the ongoing brawl between Nabua and Sukanivalu men.

He said the prosecution was objecting due to the protection of the community and for their security as the case was of public interest.

He said the tensions was high and releasing the 45 men on bail would not help in the current situation.

He added that there was no assurance of the sureties that would monitor the movements of the accused persons.

One of the youths who was part of the large crowd that gathered outside Nasova in Suva on October 7, 2021, was detained by police officers for causing a commotion. Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said the youth was released without charge. Photo: Ronald Kumar

One of the youths who was part of the large crowd that gathered outside Nasova in Suva
on October 7, 2021, was detained by police officers for causing a commotion. Police
spokesperson Ana Naisoro said the youth was released without charge. Photo: Ronald Kumar

SSP Raikaci said if some of the accused persons had not received their COVID-19 vaccines, the Fiji Police Force was prepared to keep them in remand as there were facilities available with the Police.

He said releasing the 45 men would just add salt to the wounds.

Mr Komaisavai told the court that the tension in Nabua had already hit the roof and some of the accused persons were students at universities.

He said all of the 45 men allegedly involved in the brawl have been kept in custody by the Fiji Police Force for more than 48 hours which was against the law and it was important for them to be given bail as it was important for members of the authority to preserve their human rights.

One of the 45 men that were remanded in Custody over Nabua brawl during special Court sitting at Police Academy in Nasova on 7, October 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

One of the 45 men that were remanded in Custody over Nabua brawl during special Court sitting at Police Academy in Nasova on 7, October 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Mr Ali said some of the men would pose a risk to men in the remand centre as some of them have not fully vaccinated or have not been vaccinated for COVID-19.

He added that it made no sense for some of the accused allegedly involved in the brawl to be kept in custody as some of them are first offenders and that his client was also being enlisted for British Army which could jeopardise his employment opportunity.

He said it was wrong for the Police to recommend to the court to keep those men that have not been vaccinated behind their own bars, not at the correction centre, this was against the jurisdiction.

Mr Cakau said one of the fundamental roles of the Police was the protection and safety of the public.

One of the 45 men that were remanded in Custody over Nabua brawl during special Court sitting at Police Academy in Nasova on 7, October 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

One of the 45 men that were remanded in Custody over Nabua brawl during special Court sitting at Police Academy in Nasova on 7, October 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Counsel from the Legal Aid Commission, Lice Manulevu said the accused persons were presumed innocent until proven guilty and that the protection of the community was in the hands of the Police.

She added that remanding the accused persons in Police custody would put a strain on the Police and that there was no evidence produced in court on the tension in the Nabua community.

Chief Magistrate Ratuvili said the charges faced by the men were serious and that bail was a right for all accused persons.

One of the 45 men that were remanded in Custody over Nabua brawl during special Court sitting at Police Academy in Nasova on 7, October 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

One of the 45 men that were remanded in Custody over Nabua brawl during special Court sitting at Police Academy in Nasova on 7, October 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

He added that he did not have any specific information with relation to each of the 45 men and the court required proper application and affidavits of the men not posing as a threat to the community.

He said the defence counsels needed to file an application stating how their clients would not be a threat and provide detailed information of them.

He ordered the Police Prosecutions to provide evidence of why the accused persons were a threat to the community.

 

He said the Police also need to provide an affidavit of the situation in Nabua as the security of the people had been raised as a reason for their objection to bail and that the defence counsels also needed to file individual bail applications before the closing of business today.

All parties were ordered to file their submissions by this afternoon and the matter will be called on Monday for bail ruling.

One of the 45 men that were remanded in Custody over Nabua brawl during special Court sitting at Police Academy in Nasova on 7, October 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

One of the 45 men that were remanded in Custody over Nabua brawl during special Court sitting at Police Academy in Nasova on 7, October 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Case of juveniles:

The 14 juveniles have been granted bail on a cash bail of $100 each and their sureties to sign a bail bond of $500 each.

They are ordered to stay with their sureties and a curfew of 6pm to 6am is also imposed on the juveniles.

They are also ordered not to re-offend, not to interfere with witnesses, and to report in at Nabua Police Station every Wednesday and Saturday between 6am to 4pm.

The matter for juveniles has been adjourned for mention on November 11.

The court ordered the cash bail to be paid and if failed to do so, the juveniles would be remanded in custody until October 21

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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