17th November 08:37 PM
Full coverage of the case of Josua Lalauvaki's alleged murder
By Fijivillage
Thursday 31/10/2019

High Court Judge to deliver judgment in Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere's murder trial today (Thursday 31/10/2019)

By: Semi Turaga

High Court Judge, Justice Vinsent Perera will today deliver his judgment in the murder trial of two former Police Officers Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere.

26-year-old Josua Lalauvaki was allegedly assaulted by Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere in Suva on 2nd September last year and passed away at CWM Hospital on the 11th of October last year.

Justice Perera will give his judgment at 2.30pm today.

 

3 assessors in murder trial of 2 former policemen return with mixed opinions (Wednesday 30/10/2019)

By: Naveel Krishant

The three assessors in the murder trial of two former Police Officers Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere have returned with mixed opinions.

All three assessors have found the two not guilty of murder but they had mixed opinions on other charges.

Kolinisau has been found guilty by all three assessors of the lesser count of manslaughter.

Two assessors have found Tikoenaburevere guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm while one assessor found him not guilty of murder, manslaughter and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

26-year-old Josua Lalauvaki was allegedly assaulted by Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere in Suva on 2nd September last year and passed away at CWM Hospital on the 11th of October last year.

Judge, Justice Vinsent Perera will give his judgement at 2.30pm tomorrow.

Both men have been remanded in custody.

 

3 assessors in murder trial of former police officers retire behind closed doors to deliberate on opinion (Wednesday 30/10/2019)

By: Semi Turaga

The three assessors in the murder trial of former police officers Selema Tikoenaburevere and Kelepi Kolinisau have retired behind closed doors to deliberate on their opinion.

High Court Judge, Justice Vinsent Perera has finished summing up the case which lasted for more than an hour.

26-year-old Josua Lalauvaki was allegedly assaulted by Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere on 2nd September last year and later passed away on the 11th of October last year.

 

High Court Judge Justice Vinsent Perera to sum up Tikoenaburevere and Kolinisau's murder trial today (Wednesday 30/10/2019) 

By: Naveel Krishant and Semi Turaga

High Court Judge Justice Vinsent Perera will today sum up the murder trial of former police officers Selema Tikoenaburevere and Kelepi Kolinisau before the three assessors retire behind closed doors to deliberate on their opinion.

The two defence lawyers Barbara Malimali and Akuila Naco, as well as prosecution lawyer Meli Vosawale, delivered their closing submissions yesterday.

26-year-old Josua Lalauvaki was allegedly assaulted by Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere on 2nd September last year and later passed away on the 11th of October last year.

 

Justice Vinsent Perera to sum up Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere's murder trial tomorrow (Tuesday 29/10/2019)
By: Semi Turaga 

High Court Judge Justice Vinsent Perera will sum up the murder trial of former police officers Selema Tikoenaburevere and Kelepi Kolinisau tomorrow before the three assessors retire behind closed doors to deliberate on their opinion.

The two defence lawyers Barbara Malimali and Akuila Naco, as well as prosecution lawyer Meli Vosawale, delivered their closing subissions this morning.

26-year-old Josua Lalauvaki was allegedly assaulted by Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere on 2nd September last year and later passed away on the 11th of October last year.

 

Prosecution and defence counsels to make closing submissions in Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere's murder trial (Tuesday 29/10/2019)

By: Naveel Krishant

The prosecution and defence counsels will today make their closing submissions in the murder trial of former police officers, Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere.

26-year-old Josua Lalauvaki was allegedly assaulted by Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere on 2nd September last year and later passed away on the 11th of October last year.

Meli Vosawale is the Prosecution lawyer, while Barbara Malimali is representing Kolinisau and Akuila Naco is representing Tikoenaburevere.

Prosecution and defence to make closing remarks in murder trial of former Policemen next Tuesday (Thursday 24/10/2019)

By: Rashika Kumar

The prosecution and defence will make their closing submissions next Tuesday in the murder trial of former police officers, Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere.

26-year-old Josua Lalauvaki was allegedly assaulted by Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere on 2nd September last year and later passed away on the 11th of October last year.

Meanwhile, defence witness, Police Officer Pita Bese who was on foot patrol on the night of the alleged incident has told the court that while he was identifying himself to Lalauvaki's girlfriend, he had lifted his identity card to her face and she had then tapped his hand.

Bese says he had then pushed her and raised his tone to tell her that he was arresting her. 

Bese has told the court that Lalauvaki's girlfriend and her friends then started swearing at him and made some remarks. 

During cross-examination by DPP Lawyer Meli Vosawale, Bese did not agree that without raising his voice he could have calmly controlled the situation. 

Bese also did not agree with Vosawale that by raising his voice and pushing a drunk woman he had exacerbated the situation.

 

Tikoenaburevere tells Court that Lalauvaki had punched him twice on the night he was arrested (Wednesday 23/10/2019)

By: Pratika Mala

Former Police Officer and murder accused, Selema Tikoenaburevere has told the Suva High Court that Josua Lalauvaki had punched him twice on the night he was arrested.

It is alleged that 26-year-old Lalauvaki was murdered by former officers, Kelepi Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere while they were on duty on 2nd September last year.

Tikoenaburevere told the court that this happened as he was escorting Lalauvaki and another male suspect into the charge room at Totogo Police Station with Kolinisau.

Tikoenaburevere told High Court Judge Justice Vinsent Perera that while heading towards the charge room, Kolinisau was walking behind the other male suspect who suddenly turned around and punched him on his nose.

Tikoenaburevere says as Kolinisau fell to the ground, Lalauvaki turned him around by the shoulder and punched him on the head.

He says he then held Lalauvaki by his shirt and told him not to punch as he was at the Police Station.

Tikoenaburevere went on to say that he then saw ASP Rusiate Tudravu Ryland between Kolinisau and the male suspect.

He says at this time he felt that someone fell behind him and when he turned to see, it was Lalauvaki lying on the ground.

The trial continues before Justice Perera.

 

Former Police Officer and murder accused denies stomping on Lalauvaki's stomach (Wednesday 23/10/2019)

By: Pratika Mala

Former Police Officer and murder accused, Kelepi Kolinisau repeatedly denied allegations in court that he stomped Josua Lalauvaki's stomach as Lalauvaki lay on the floor. 

It is alleged 26-year-old Lalauvaki was murdered by two former Police Officers, Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere while they were on duty on 2nd September last year. 

Kolinisau told the court that he did not even touch Lalauvaki that night claiming his full focus was on another person who had punched him on his nose. 

He told the court that he had wanted to lodge a report about being punched but was told by his superior officer ASP Rusiate Tudravu Ryland to wait for the arresting team to come back and lodge their report first. 

He says a report was not lodged as he found out that the person who punched him was released along with his girlfriend by his superior officer.

The two people were Lalauvaki's girlfriend's sister and the sister's boyfriend. 

State prosecutor, Meli Vosawale asked Kolinisau what ASP Ryland meant when he told him and PC Selema that he did not want any sort of assault when the suspects were under arrest. 

Kolinisau replied that the ASP meant that when a person is brought in under arrest there should be no punching. 

Both Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere have pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder.

Lalauvaki died at the CWM Hospital on the 11th of October last year. 

 

A few procedures not followed at Totogo Police Station on night Lalauvaki was allegedly assaulted - Investigating Officer (Tuesday 22/10/2019)

By: Rashika Kumar

The Police Investigating Officer, Inspector Rupeni Taoka in the murder trial of two former police officers Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere has told Suva High Court that a few procedures were not followed at the Totogo Police Station on the night Josua Lalauvaki was allegedly assaulted.

26-year-old Lalauvaki was allegedly assaulted by Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere on 2nd September last year and later passed away on the 11th of October last year.

Taoka told the court that during his investigations, he had discovered that there was no record of Lalauvaki and his friends being brought into the Totogo Police Station on 2nd September.

During cross-examination by the defence lawyer, Barbara Malimali, the prosecution witness also confirmed that he did not check with the Reserve Bank of Fiji's CCTV which is directly at the back of Totogo Police Station.

During the re-examination by DPP lawyer, Meli Vosawale, Investigating Officer Taoka revealed that other officers were also prime suspects in the murder investigation, however, it was found after crosschecks that there was nothing that they had done and their statements were recorded.

Taoka also says that in his investigations he had discovered that Lalauvaki and his friends were not swearing at the police officers.

Judge, Vincent Parera has also accepted Vosawale's application to change the particulars of the charges.

The two are now charged with Lalauvaki's murder on the 11th of October last year.

Both Kolonisau and Tikoenaburevere have pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Lalauvaki died at the CWM Hospital on the 11th of October last year. 

The trial continues before Justice Perera.

 

Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete gives evidence in Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere's murder trial

By: Dhanjay Deo

Health Minister Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete who is the seventh prosecution witness in the murder trial of two former police officers, Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere has told the Suva High Court that kick, punch or high-velocity injury through a road traffic accident can cause rupture to the small intestine in a human body.

It is alleged 26-year-old Josua Lalauvaki was murdered by Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere while they were on duty on 2nd September last year.

During examination in chief by DPP lawyer Meli Vosawale, Dr. Waqainabete who conducted the surgery of Josua Lalauvaki in September last year told the court that direct force through a punch or kick can cause rupture to the duodenum.

He also agreed with Vosawale that stomping can cause rupture to the duodenum.

Dr. Waqainabete told the court that they noted rupture of Lalauvaki's duodenum and swelling in the area of pancreas however there was no tear of the pancreas.

Dr. Waqainabete says it is not unusual for that area of the body to lose its blood supply and die and they believed this was one of the reasons Lalauvaki never fully recovered as the pancreatic juice may have leaked into the abdominal cavity.

Dr. Waqainabete was also asked by Vosawale as to how Lalauvaki's kidney had collapsed.

Dr. Waqainabete says in Lalauvaki's case, there were 2.4 liters of leakage of fluid which would have been pancreatic juice, bile from the liver, saliva from mouth and stomach contents.

He says the functions of the heart, liver, kidney, and blood during this situation increases and because of this, the kidney goes into shock.

During cross-examination by defense lawyer Barbara Malimali, Dr. Waqainabete revealed that it was discovered in the second week after the surgery that Lalauvaki's pancreas was also damaged.

He said the damage to the pancreas was not apparent initially after the CT scan but CT scan conducted later with other findings confirmed pancreas injury.

Dr. Waqainabete also told the court that the principles of surgery are not to touch organs that look healthy in CT scans and during visual inspection.

Prosecution will now call the pathologist who is the 8th prosecution witness.

Lalauvaki died at the CWM Hospital on 11th October last year as a result of injuries sustained after the alleged assault.

 

Murder trial of Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere to resume today (Monday 21/10/2019)

By: Naveel Krishant

The murder trial of two former Police Officers, Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere will resume before High Court Judge, Justice Vinsent Perera today.

Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere are alleged to have killed Josua Lalauvaki last year.

The prosecution is expected to call three more witnesses which include the Investigating Officer and Pathologist.

Stay with us for updates.

 

5th prosecution witness claims to have seen man throw punches at Tikoenaburevere (Friday 18/10/2019)

By: Naveel Krishant

The fifth prosecution witness in the murder trial of former police officers Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere says that she saw a short, dark and built man throw three punches at Tikoenaburevere on the night of September 2nd last year.

Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere are charged with murdering Josua Lalauvaki last year.

Police Constable Fiona Vulaono says she saw Tikoenaburevere look at the man and held his neck and the man fell down.

Vulaono says at the same time the other man was exchanging punches with Kolinisau.

During cross-examination by Kolinisau’s lawyer, Barbara Malimali, PC Vulaono says that she was attracted to a vehicle on that night because of the swearing by a female.

When questioned by Tikoenaburevere’s lawyer, Akuila Naco, PC Vulaono said the incident was not recorded in the station diary.

The trial continues before Judge, Justice Vinsent Perera as the 6th prosecution witness is now giving evidence.

 

3rd prosecution witness reveals there is no CCTV footage of the alleged assault of Lalauvaki (Thursday 17/10/2019)

By: Naveel Krishant

The third prosecution witness in the murder trial of two former police officers, Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere has revealed in court that the CCTV footage from 2nd September last year self-deleted after a month and there is no backup. 

Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere allegedly murdered Josua Lalauvaki last year. 

Sergeant Pradip Lal revealed this after he was asked by Tikoenaburevere's lawyer, Akuila Naco if he had checked the CCTV footage of the alleged assault that happened on 2nd September last year. 

Lal says he was advised by the technician that the system deleted the images after a month. 

However, he maintains that he saw Tikoenaburevere allegedly hold Lalauvaki by the neck, lift him and push him to the ground and that Kolinisau had allegedly stomped the person on the ground. 

When questioned by Kolinisau's lawyer, Barbara Malimali why he did not report an alleged crime, Lal says that ASP Rusiate Ryland was present at the scene and he is more senior in rank. He says ACP Ryland had told him that he will deal with the situation. 

He said when he came to work on 5th September last year, he was informed by some officers that a man was admitted at the CWM hospital adding that when he went to the hospital he found out that it was Lalauvaki.

Lal denied when Malimali put to Lal that the story he told the court was to cover up the dereliction of his duty in not reporting the crime and Lal is trying to save himself by blaming Kolinisau for something he did not do. 

 

Second state witness reveals he was distracted on the day Lalauvaki was allegedly assaulted (Thursday 17/10/2019)

By: Naveel Krishant

The second state witness in the murder trial of former Police Officers Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere has revealed in court that he was distracted on the day Josua Lalauvaki was allegedly assaulted.

Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere allegedly assaulted Lalauvaki on 2nd.

September last year which resulted in his death on October 11th last year.

Anare Gade who is the second state witness, and who is a Polfriend  said yes when Kolinisau's lawyer, Barbara Malimali put to him  that on that morning, he would have been pretty distracted with two women screaming near him, Sergeant Lanieta at the top shouting at them to keep quiet, PC Sisilia running across to tell the women to keep quiet, ASP Ryland rushing out and Kolinisau being punched by another man. 

Gade also confirmed that Lalauvaki and the other man, Tomasi had allegedly attacked him in the back of a vehicle.

Malimali put to Gade that Kolinisau did not touch Lalauvaki that morning, to which Gade said that Kolinisau touched Lalauvaki.

The trial continues before Judge, Justice Vinsent Perera.

 

Second prosecution witness in Lalauvaki case reveals that deceased had tried to attack him (Wednesday 16/10/2019)

By: Dhanjay Deo

The second prosecution witness in the murder trial of Selema Tikoenaburevere and Kelepi Kolinisau has revealed in the Suva High Court that Josua Lalauvaki had tried to attack him.

It is alleged 26-year-old Lalauvaki was murdered by former police officers, Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere while they were on duty on 2nd September last year.

The second prosecution witness is Alivereti Gade who was part of a Police Team called Polfriend, on the night Josua Lalauvaki was allegedly assaulted last year.

During cross-examination by defence lawyer, Barbara Malimali, Gade denied there may be a possibility that there can be some mistakes in his recollection of events on the 1st and 2nd of September last year.

The prosecution is expected to call five more witnesses.

Lalauvaki died at the CWM Hospital on 11th October last year as a result of injuries sustained after the alleged assault.

The trial will resume this morning before High Court Judge, Justice Vinsent Perera.

 

Second prosecution witness tells court he saw Kolinisau kicking and stomping Lalauvaki's chest (Wednesday 16/10/2019)

By: Naveel Krishant

The second prosecution witness in the murder trial of Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere has revealed in court today that he saw Kolinisau kicking and stomping Josua Lalauvaki's chest and hips in the early hours of September 2nd last year.
 
It is alleged 26-year-old Lalauvaki was murdered by former Police Officers Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere while they were on duty. 

The second state witness is Alivereti Gade who is part of a Police Team called Polfriend. 

Gade says they help Police by giving them information and also helping them in arrests. 

He says on September 1st last year, he started work at about 9 pm adding he was doing his patrols. 

The witness told the court that when they were trying to put Lalauvaki and three others in the Police vehicle, there was a short, built boy who was obstructing Kolinisau from putting them in the van. 

Gade further says there were two men and two women and both men were drunk while one woman was sober adding they were put in the back tray while Kelepi and Gade were with them in the back. 

Gade adds Kolinisau was standing in the middle of the vehicle tray and the two men were trying to punch Kolinisau. 

He told the court that they had stopped at Signals Nightclub to ask help from the officers in calming the four down and after they were calmed down they proceeded to Totogo Police Station.

Gade says when they reached Totogo, he heard Tikoenaburevere tell the men that they were at the Police Station and they should respect it. 

Gade says Tikoenaburevere had taken Lalauvaki out of the vehicle while Kolinisau had taken the other guy out adding that he was telling Lalauvaki's girlfriend, Melania Davetawalu not to swear. 

Gade adds that he saw Tikoenaburevere and Lalauvaki exchanging punches. 

He says when he turned back, he saw Kolinisau giving a kick and stomping on the boy that was lying on the ground. 

Gade says there were other police officers who had witnessed this and two officers stopped Kolinisau and Tikoenaburevere. 

 

Lalauvaki's girlfriend admits that he had hit someone inside the nightclub (Tuesday 15/10/2019)

By: Naveel Krishant

The girlfriend of Josua Lalauvaki, who was allegedly murdered by two former police officers, has admitted in court that Lalauvaki had hit someone inside the nightclub as that person was hassling her. 

It is alleged 26-year-old Lalauvaki was murdered by Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere while they were on duty on 2nd September last year.

Tikoenaburevere's lawyer, Akuila Naco asked Melania Davetawalu whether Lalauvaki was involved in a fight inside the club before he was taken out to which Davetawalu said that it was not a fight as the person Lalauvaki had hit did not have a chance to hit him back. 

She also denied that Lalauvaki had a scuffle with the bouncers as they took him out. 

Naco then put to her that the person that Lalauvaki had punched followed him outside to which Davetawalu said that she was the only one to follow him outside. 

She also denied that a group of boys followed Lalauvaki outside that club and assaulted him.

Naco also put to her that after Lalauvaki was assaulted, he was kneeling by the fence of the TLTB Carpark and holding his stomach which she denied. 

The trial continues.

 

Lalauvaki was assaulted by police officers at different locations - Davetawalu (Tuesday 15/10/2019)

By: Dhanjay Deo and Meredani Tisugu

The girlfriend of Josua Lalauvaki who was allegedly murdered by two former police officers last year told the Suva High Court this morning that Lalauvaki was assaulted by police officers at different locations in the early hours of 2nd September last year.

Former Police Officers, Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere allegedly killed 26-year-old Josua Lalauvaki.

25-year-old Melania Davetawalu who is the first prosecution witness told the court that four police officers who were in civilian clothes had approached them outside Downunder Nightclub as her sister and her boyfriend were arguing over something.

She says one of the officers asked them to take their argument somewhere else and clear the road while another officer passed a sarcastic comment. Davetawalu says her sister had then replied which offended the police officer who punched her on the face.

Davetawalu says this is when Josua Lalauvaki and her sister's boyfriend retaliated and everyone started throwing punches at each other.

She says they were later put at the back tray of a four wheel drive and taken to Totogo Police Station. Davetawalu also revealed in court that one of the officers had assaulted Lalauvaki and his sister's boyfriend with a baton while on their way to Totogo Police Station.

Davetawalu says when they reached Totogo Police Station, Lalauvaki and her sister's boyfriend were thrown out of the police vehicle and were taken inside the station by the officers.

Davetawalu says she later heard Lalauvaki screaming for help and when she went near him, she saw Lalauvaki was on the ground and the police officer who was in civilian clothes was stomping all over Lalauvaki's chest. 

She says Lalauvaki was in a lot of pain and could barely get up.

Davetawalu told the court that Lalauvaki was lying on the floor sideways with his knees pressed upon his chest and touching his stomach, saying he was in so much pain.

She told the court that she later asked a female police officer whether they were going to write a report as to why they were being held at the station, however the police officer did not say anything.

Davetawalu also told the court that the four police officers then came and asked for forgiveness from her and Lalauvaki and one of them also said that if they reported the matter, it would mean Lalauvaki will get 10 years imprisonment.

Davetawalu says she told the officers that they would not report the matter and just go.

She says they later went home, however, because Lalauvaki was continously moaning in pain, they had to go to the CWM Hospital where doctors gave him morphine and later told them after a scan that everything that was supposed to be inside Lalauvaki's stomach, was going outside and this is why he was going through this pain.

Lalauvaki died at the CWM Hospital on 11th October last year as a result of injuries sustained after the alleged assault.

The trial continues before High Court Judge, Justice Vinsent Perera.

 

Lalauvaki's girlfriend admits in court that Lalauvaki was escorted out of Downunder Nightclub twice (Tuesday 15/10/2019)

By: Pratika Mala

The girlfriend of Josua Lalauvaki, who was allegedly murdered by two former police officers, admitted in court that Lalauvaki was escorted out of Downunder Nightclub twice that night by waiters and bouncers.

It is alleged 26-year-old Lalauvaki was murdered by Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere while they were on duty on 2nd September last year.

Lalauvaki died at the CWM Hospital on 11th October last year as a result of injuries sustained after the alleged assault.

During cross-examination by defence lawyer, Barbara Malimali, Melania Davetawalu, also told the court that Lalauvaki was already drunk when she went to Downunder Nightclub on that night.

Davetawalu told the court that Lalauvaki was let back into the club sometime after being escorted out the first time. She also admitted in court that Lalauvaki could also get a bit mouthy when drunk.

Upon further questioning, Davetawalu revealed that upon being arrested, Lalauvaki had told the officers that he was related to Mr Bainimarama.

She informed the court that at the time of his arrest, they were near the fence of TLTB building.

Davetawalu told the court that it was almost 4am when a taxi had finally stopped for them and she had tried to get her sister, who was arguing with her boyfriend into the taxi.

She admitted that during this time her sister had continued to argue with her boyfriend in a loud voice.

Davetawalu told the court that it was at this point the police officers had arrived and her sister had sworn at the officers.

She says this was when the exchange of words between the police officers and her sister started.

The trial continues before High Court Judge, Justice Vinsent Perera.

 

New details revealed regarding cause of death of Josua Lalauvaki (Friday 30/08/2019)

By: Semi Turaga

It has been revealed in the Suva High Court that stomping to the abdominal area contributed substantially to causing injuries which led to the death of Josua Lalauvaki last year.

Lalauvaki passed away at the CWM hospital more than one month after being allegedly assaulted by two police officers on 2nd September last year.

Kelepi Tautaumacala and Selema Tikoenaburevere who are now former Police officers are charged for the murder of Lalauvaki.

They appeared before Justice Vinsent Perera today.

Tautaumacala and Tikoenaburevere allegedly assaulted Lalauvaki after picking him up outside a nightclub in Suva in a Police vehicle.

State lawyer Meli Vosawale told Justice Perera that the main cause of death was injury to the pancreas.

Vosawale also said there was also rupture to the small intestine.

Defence lawyer Akuila Naco said Tautaumacala and Tikoenaburevere had a role in taking Laulauvaki to Totogo Police Station and that is why CCTV footage is important.

Naco said they are working with the prosecution to get CCTV footage.

He said there are some issues with getting the exact CCTV footage.

The bail for Tautaumacala and Tikoenaburevere has been extended.

The case will be called again on the 13th of next month for Pre‑Trial Conference.

 

Two former police officers charged with murder to stand trial in October (Tuesday 11/06/2019)

By: Naveel Krishant

The trial of two former Police Officers Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere who are charged with murder will be held in October.

It is alleged they killed 26-year-old Josua Lalauvaki on 2nd September last year following an altercation outside a nightclub.

Lalauvaki died at the CWM Hospital on 11th October last year as a result of injuries sustained after the alleged assault.

Their Bail has been extended.

 

Suva High Court has struck out the constitutional redress application of late Josua Lalauvaki (Friday 12/04/2019)

By: Naveel Krishant

High Court Judge, Justice Deepthi Amaratunga has struck out the application of Constitutional Redress that was filed by the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission on behalf of the late Josua Lalauvaki.

This was in relation to the violation of his constitutional rights on 2nd September 2018 which ultimately resulted in his demise on 11th October last year.

He was allegedly assaulted by Police officers which caused his death.

Suspended Police Officers Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere have been charged with murder.

In his judgment, Justice Amaratunga said that the first applicant is struck out due to non-compliance of Order 15 rule 17 of the High Court Rules of 1988. He says a claim for damages cannot proceed without an appointment of a party to represent the estate of the deceased in terms of the said High Court Rule.

Justice Amaratunga says the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission can bring an action for violation of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution, but that application needs to be supported by an affidavit with sufficient evidence to prove the facts on balance of probability.

He adds that the affidavit in support had failed to comply with such essential requirements and it lacked evidence of witnesses, medical reports and post mortem reports.

The judge says so there is no proof of alleged infringements adding that an affidavit from the investigating officer cannot substitute evidence from a witness.

 

Two former police officers deny murdering Josua Lalauvaki (Friday 01/02/2019)

By: Semi Turaga

Two former police officers have pleaded not guilty to murder in the Suva High Court today.

Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere are alleged to have killed 26‑year‑old Josua Lalauvaki on 2nd September last year following an altercation outside a nightclub.

The charges laid against the two men were read in court today.

They said that they understood the charges before pleading not guilty before Justice Daniel Goundar.

The matter has been adjourned to 18th April 2019.

 

Judge to decide on bail application of suspended Police Officers accused of murder (Thursday 06/12/2018)

By: Faria Begum

High Court Judge Justice Daniel Goundar will make a decision on the bail applications of suspended Police Officers, Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere on the 14th of this month.

Both are charged with the murder of 26-year-old Josua Lalauvaki following an argument outside a Suva nightclub on the 2nd of September this year.

Lalauvaki died at CWM Hospital on the 11th of last month as a result of injuries sustained following the alleged assault.

State Lawyer Meli Vosawale has objected to bail as both accused men are likely to interfere with the material witnesses of the case who are police officers.

The state has also confirmed that there are civilian witnesses in the case.

The first accused, Kelepi Kolinisau is represented by defence lawyer Barbara Malimali who while responding to the state’s objection said that strict bail conditions would assist the court.

Malimali said in court today that should her client interfere with the witnesses, the witness also has a risk of losing his/her job and/or disciplinary action against them.

She also informed the court that she is having difficulty receiving instructions from her client as she has been told that her seeing her client can only be done when it has been approved by the Commissioner.

Malimali added that her client is being threatened in the remand centre by other remand prisoners that his family would be harmed and his family home would also be burnt.

The defence lawyer for the second accused, Selema Tikoenaburevere is Akuila Naco.

He said he will be relying on what his colleague Malimali has submitted.

The court today also discussed the presence of the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission in court as High Court Judge Justice Daniel Goundar questioned the commission’s presence.

The Commission was represented by Romanu Vananalagi who said that they are in court because this is the case of breach of human rights.

Justice Goundar then said that a right to life is for anyone and that this victim’s life should not be the only one that has been prioritized as there have been other murder cases as well.

Vananalagi said that he is in court as an amicus who is not a party to the case but assists the court.

Defence lawyer, Barbara Malimali then stated in court that the state is ably represented and that there was no need for the Human Rights Commission to be present.

All parties in the case have been told to serve their submissions on the notice of motion by the Human Rights Commission and High Court Judge Justice Daniel Goundar will hear this matter on the 8th of March next year at 11.30am.

Human Rights and Anti‑Discrimination Commission file Constitutional Redress application on behalf of late Josua Lalauvaki (Saturday 24/11/2018)

By: Vijay Narayan

The Human Rights and Anti‑Discrimination Commission has filed a Constitutional Redress application on behalf of the late Josua Lalauvaki in relation to the violation of his Constitutional Rights on 2nd September 2018 which ultimately resulted in his demise on 11th October this year.


The late Josua Lalauvaki

The declarations sought by the Commission in the Notice of Motion are that Lalauvaki’s Constitutional Right to Life under Article 8 of the Fijian Constitution were violated and breached by the Fiji Police Force and/or its employees, servants or agents  leading to his demise thereof, that Lalauvaki’s Constitutional Right to Freedom from Cruel and Degrading Treatment under Article 11 (1) of the Fijian Constitution were violated and breached by the Fiji Police Force and/or its employees, servants or agents leading to Lalauvaki’s demise thereof, that Lalauvaki’s Constitutional Rights of Arrested and Detained Persons under  Article 13(1)(a)(I) of the Fijian Constitution were violated and breached by the Fiji Police Force and/or its employees, servants or agents.

Meanwhile the two suspended police officers who were allegedly involved in the death of 26 year old Josua Lalauvaki have been denied bail.

They had earlier appeared before Suva Magistrate Asanga Bodaragama who has ordered that the two suspended officers be kept separate from other remand prisoners.

Suspended Police Officers Kelepi Tautaumacala Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere have been charged with murder.

They were charged for allegedly murdering Josua Lalauvaki following an argument outside a Suva nightclub on 2nd of September this year.

Lalauvaki died at CWM Hospital on 11th of last month as a result of injuries sustained following the alleged police assault.

Magistrate Bodaragama denied the bail application saying they have been charged with an indictable offence and are a threat to public safety.

Both accused have been further remanded in custody and will be produced again in court on the 30th of this month.

 

Suspended cops charged with murder of Lalauvaki denied bail (Friday 16/11/2018)

By: Anamika Singh

The two suspended police officers who were allegedly involved in the death of 26‑year‑old Josua Lalauvaki have been denied bail.

They appeared before Suva Magistrate Asanga Bodaragama who has ordered that the two suspended officers be kept separate from other remand prisoners.

Suspended Police Officers Kelepi Tautaumacala Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere have been charged with murder.

They were charged for allegedly murdering Josua Lalauvaki following an argument outside a Suva nightclub on 2nd of September this year.

Lalauvaki died at CWM Hospital on 11th of last month as a result of injuries sustained following the alleged police assault.

Both accused persons are represented by lawyer Litiana Ratidara who has requested that they be granted bail for their protection.

Ratidara had said since the accused are police officers, they are known to most of the remand prisoners. She also stated that the first accused Kelepi Tautaumacala’s wife is pregnant and is about to give birth.

State lawyer Meli Vosawale had objected to bail saying there is a potential witness who is the brother of the deceased and is a Prison Officer.

He has also requested that the matter be transferred to the High Court.

Magistrate Bodaragama denied the bail application saying they have been charged with an indictable offence and are a threat to public safety.

Both accused have been further remanded in custody and will be produced again in court on the 30th of this month.

 

Two police officers involved in death of 26yr-old Josua Lalauvaki to appear in court today (Friday 16/11/2018)

By: Faria Begum

The two police officers who were involved in the death of 26-year-old Josua Lalauvaki will appear in the Suva Magistrates Court today.

Police Officers Kelepi Duri Tautaumacala Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere have been charged with murder.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Pryde has sanctioned charges against the two officers for allegedly murdering Josua Lalauvaki following an altercation outside a Suva nightclub on 2nd of September this year.

Lalauvaki died at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital on 11th  of last month as a result of injuries he sustained following the alleged police assault.

 

Two police officers involved in death of 26yr-old Josua Lalauvaki have been charged (Thursday 15/11/2018)

By: Faria Begum

The two police officers who were involved in the death of 26-year-old Josua Lalauvaki have been charged.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Pryde has sanctioned charges against the two officers for allegedly murdering Josua Lalauvaki following an altercation outside a Suva nightclub on 2nd of September this year.

Lalauvaki died at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital on 11th  of last month as a result of injuries he sustained following the alleged police assault.

Police Officers Kelepi Duri Tautaumacala Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere have been charged with murder and will be produced at the Suva Magistrates Court tomorrow.

 

Amnesty International calls for results of investigation into death of Josua Lalauvaki to be made public (Wednesday 31/10/2018)

By: Anamika Singh

Amnesty International has called on Fijian authorities to make public the results of an investigation into the death of 26-year‑old rugby player Josua Lalauvaki, who died shortly after being released from police custody in September 2018.

Amnesty International says Lalauvaki’s case fits a pattern of numerous cases of abuses by the Fiji security forces, including torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, compounded by a systematic lack of prompt, impartial, effective and independent investigations.

It says according to press reports and information collected by Amnesty International, on 2nd September 2018 at around 4am, police officers in uniform and civilian clothes arrested and allegedly assaulted Lalauvaki, two women and another man.

It claims the group then attempted to file a complaint against the police officers that assaulted them however the front desk police officers threatened that Lalauvaki would be charged and given ten years imprisonment if they filed a complaint.

Amnesty International further alleges the police officers apologized and shook the hands of all the victims.

Amnesty International says late in the afternoon of 2nd September, Lalauvaki was rushed to the CWM Hospital after he continuously complained of severe abdominal pain.

Early next morning Lalauvaki underwent surgery and was put in an induced coma for approximately 18 days.

He passed away on 11th October and the cause of death was listed as severe intra‑abdominal sepsis resulting from a blunt force trauma.

It says Police were officially informed about Lalauvaki’s condition as early as 5th September, three days after his arrest and admission to hospital.

Subsequently, the police advised they could not take any action until they receive his full medical report, which the hospital said they could only release once the victim is discharged from the Intensive Care Unit.

Amnesty International says after nearly three weeks the Criminal Investigations Department of Totogo Police Station made contact with the family to take their statements.

Amnesty International calls for prompt, impartial, effective and independent investigations into all cases of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment by the security forces.

This includes an investigation into those assaulted alongside Lalauvaki, and police officers that threatened reprisals and prevented complaints from being filed on the day of the incident.

Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police Sitiveni Qiliho had directed the immediate suspension of two police officers on the 19th of this month pending the outcome of the investigation regarding the death of Lalauvaki.

Police say a police constable and a special constable have been suspended without pay.

Qiliho has instructed the Director CID to ensure the investigation file is summed up and submitted to the Office of the DPP as quickly as possible for sanctioning.

The file is with the DPP at the moment.

 

Investigation file regarding murder of a 26yr-old man still with DPP (Monday 29/10/2018)

By: Anamika Singh

The investigation file regarding a 26 year old man who was allegedly assaulted outside a nightclub in Suva last month and who later passed away earlier this month is still with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for sanctioning.

Police have confirmed two police officers from Totogo Police Station in Suva have been suspended without pay in relation to the incident.

Josua Lalauvaki was allegedly assaulted by police officers outside a nightclub on 2nd of last month and he passed away on the 13th of this month.

The case was classified as murder after the post mortem was conducted.

 

Investigation file of the alleged brutal assault of a 26yr-old man submitted by Police to Office of Director of Public Prosecutions (Wednesday 24/10/2018)

By: Anamika Singh

Police have submitted the investigation file of the alleged brutal assault on a 26-year-old man to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Police have confirmed two police officers have been suspended without pay in relation to the incident.

Josua Lalauvaki was allegedly assaulted by police officers outside a nightclub in Suva on 2nd of last month and he passed away on the 13th of this month.

The case was classified as murder after the post mortem was conducted.

 

Police yet to forward investigations file of alleged brutal assault of a 26yr-old man (Tuesday 23/10/2018)

By: Anamika Singh

Police are yet to forward the investigation file of the alleged brutal assault of a 26-year-old man which resulted in his death to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Last week, Commissioner of Police Sitiveni Qiliho directed the immediate suspension of two police officers pending the outcome of the investigation regarding the death of Josua Lalauvaki.

The police constable and the special constable have been suspended without pay.

Qiliho had also instructed the Director CID to ensure the investigation file is summed up and submitted to the Office of the DPP as quickly as possible for sanctioning.

Josua Lalauvaki was allegedly assaulted by police officers outside a nightclub in Suva on 2nd September and the case was classified as murder after the post mortem was conducted.

Meanwhile, Police are still investigating the alleged assault of a remand prisoner by Corrections Officers. 

The assault occurred in the Suva Remand Centre in Korovou on the 10th of this month.

Fiji Corrections Service Commissioner Commander Francis Kean had earlier confirmed the Fiji Corrections Service has terminated one Corrections Officer and suspended five others in relation to the brutal assault of remand prisoner Sefanaia Turagadamudamu.

 

Qiliho suspends two police officers pending investigation regarding death of Josua Lalauvaki (Friday 19/10/2018)

By: Iva Danford

Commissioner of Police Sitiveni Qiliho has directed the immediate suspension of two police officers pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation regarding the death of a 26-year-old man.

Police say the police constable and the special constable have been suspended without pay.

Qiliho has instructed the Director CID to ensure the investigation file is summed up and submitted to the Office of the DPP as quickly as possible for sanctioning.


Deceased Josua Lalauvaki

Josua Lalauvaki was allegedly assaulted by police officers outside a nightclub in Suva on September 2nd and the case was classified as murder after the post mortem was conducted.

Lalauvaki passed away last Thursday at the CWM Hospital.

Pacific Specialist Healthcare
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