13 Nov 2015

Bail denied to Fiji torture video accused

6:19 pm on 13 November 2015

A Fiji military officer, Pita Matairavula, charged with sexual assault of a prison escapee has been denied bail a second time.

Mr Matairavula was in the Nasinu magistrate's court over the alleged incident, which was recorded in a video that drew international condemnation when it was put on the internet in 2013.

He was charged last month along with a soldier and three policemen, who are free on bail.

Mr Matairavula, who has previously worked as a security officer for the prime minister Frank Bainimarama, was arrested last week and remanded in custody after he failed to attend two court hearings with the other four co-accused.

Both the prosecution and the police have said the officer absconded and was harboured by the military.

Mr Matairavula was refused bail today as is facing two charges in two courts.

His case is up for mention again on November the 27th.

The three police officers accused over the sex assault case have now been hired by the military, whose land force commander was this week chosen by Mr Bainimarama to be in charge of the police.

This follows the resignation of the police commissioner, Ben Groenewald, who said the military interfered with the police.

Last month, Mr Matairavula was granted bail in Lautoka in a rape case involving eight policemen.

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