6 Jun 2007

Fiji police officers involved in incident which led to death not being stood down

1:52 pm on 6 June 2007

Fiji police officers, who were present when a man developed breathing problems and then died during an interrogation, are not being stood down at this point.

The assistant superintendent of police, Ulaiasa Ravula, says an investigation into the incident, which ended in the death yesterday of 30 year old Tevita Malasebe, is under way.

His mother, Anisa Nakuila, says she saw her son's body covered in bruises from the neck down with the marks of the handcuffs still visible on his wrists, and wants to know what happened.

Mr Ravula confirmed that Mr Malasebe was detained by the police and questioned over a serious robbery offence within the Nasinu area near Suva.

He says Mr Malasebe was taken to hospital but pronounced dead on arrival.

"There's a team, led by a superintendent of police from the criminal investigations department headquarters that is actually doing the investigations into the circumstances surrounding the death and we're also awaiting a post-mortem report which will further determine the actual cause of death. And, all these investigations are being carried out in accordance with the Inquest Act that's in place."

Assistant superintendent Ravula says the results of the post-mortem are expected later today.