NEWS

 Nausori Highlands Murder Trial:Isoof Found Guilty Of Murder By Poisoning

Isoof sat in the accused dock in­tensely looking at the Judge as Justice Rajasinghe read his 35 pages long judgment stating how the Court came to its decision.
20 Jan 2022 10:59
 Nausori Highlands Murder Trial:Isoof Found Guilty Of Murder By Poisoning
Muhammed Raheesh Isoof escorted to the courtroom at the High Court in Lautoka before the judgment of his case on January 19, 2022. Photo: Ashna Kumar

Muhammed Raheesh Isoof has been found guilty of the murder of a family of five by poisoning.

Judge, Justice Thushara Rajasin­ghe ruled that the accused, mur­dered the family of five at a remote and isolated place on the cliff at the Nausori Highlands on August 25, 2019.

Isoof sat in the accused dock in­tensely looking at the Judge as Justice Rajasinghe read his 35 pages long judgment stating how the Court came to its decision.

Charges:

Isoof who was charged with five counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

He was working as a bus driver prior to arriving in Fiji and resid­ing in Legalega in Nadi.

It was alleged that Isoof, between August 25 and August 26, 2019, murdered Nirmal Kumar, 63, his wife Usha Devi, 54, their daughter Nileshni Kajal, 34, and Ms Kajal’s daughters Sanah Singh, 11, Sama­rah Singh, 8.

He was also alleged of attempt­ing to murder then 11-month-old Samaira Kumar, who was found abandoned near the bodies of five deceased persons at Nausori High­lands.

The state had called 55 witnesses in the trial and tendered 65 items as prosecutions exhibits while the defence called two witnesses in­cluding the accused and tendered seven documents.

Judgment:

Justice Rajasinghe said the baby was found crawling on the dead body of her grandmother and was just metres away from a 150-metre deep fall from the cliff which was dangerous.

He said according to the prosecu­tion, there was no direct evidence of what had actually happened at the crime scene at Nausori High­lands.

He said there was no direct evi­dence to establish or point out what the accused had done at Nau­sori Highlands to cause the death of those five deceased persons.

He said moreover, there was no direct evidence of how and who administrated the poison in the five deceased persons.

He further said there was no di­rect evidence to establish the iden­tity of the pesticide found in the bodies of the deceased persons.

Justice Rajasinghe said the pros­ecution’s case entirely depended on the circumstantial evidence.

Justice Rajasinghe summarised all the evidence presented in court by the prosecution and the de­fence.

He said the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had gone to Goundar’s Hardware store some­time between August 15 and Au­gust 25, 2019, and enquired about a chemical named Lannate.

He also stated that the prosecu­tion had proved that the accused was the last person to be seen with the deceased family at the remote location where the family’s bodies were found.

He said the prosecution had also proved that the accused took the deceased family to the Nausori Highlands to perform a ritual.

Justice Rajasinghe said the pros­ecution had successfully proven beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had committed these of­fences of murder as charged in the information.

He added having considered the danger caused by the surround­ings to Samaira Kumar, the ac­cused was aware of the risk of causing death when he abandoned Samaira Kumar at such a remote and dangerous place.

“I accordingly find that the prose­cution had successfully proven be­yond reasonable doubt that the ac­cused had committed the offence of attempted murder as charged in the information,” Justice Rajas­inghe said.

In conclusion of his judgment, Justice Rajasinghe said he found that the prosecution had beyond a reasonable doubt, found Isoof guilty of five counts of murder and one count of attempted mur­der.

He convicted Isoof accordingly.

Isoof will be sentenced tomorrow.

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

 



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