3 Dec 2015

Bail granted for Fiji military officer charged over torture video

1:26 pm on 3 December 2015

A Fiji military officer charged with the sexual assault of an escaped prisoner three years ago has been granted bail.

Video footage of a man allegedly being beaten by Fiji security personnel in 2012.

Video footage of a man allegedly being beaten by Fiji security personnel in 2012. Photo: RNZ

Pita Matairavula appeared in court today over the alleged incident, which drew international condemnation when video of it was leaked online in 2013.

Mr Matairavula, who has previously worked as a bodyguard for prime minister Frank Bainimarama, was arrested last month.

Both the prosecution and the police have said Mr Matairavula absconded and was harboured by the military in its barracks.

The court has now bailed Mr Matairavula on the condition he appear in court on each occasion he is called and that he surrenders his travel documents.

He must reside with one of his sureties and not leave the house between 9pm and 6am.

He must also sign in at the nearest police station every Friday.

The matter has been adjourned until the 27th of January.

The four co-accused in the case were granted bail in October.

Mr Matairavula is also among eight people charged with raping a civilian, Vilikesa Soko, who died last year as a result of injuries he sustained.

He has pleaded not guilty to that charge and has been granted bail.

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