2 Jul 2007

Police in Fiji to continue to seek to put soldier before a civil court

2:25 pm on 2 July 2007

Police in Fiji say they will continue to pursue the soldier implicated in the death of Nimilote Verebasaga despite moves by the military to put him before a court martial.

Mr Verebasaga died in military custody earlier this year after he was allegedly taken from his home by soldiers.

The acting Police Commissioner of Crime, Jese Marovia, told Fijilive that police will continue to pursue the soldier and ensure that he appears before a civilian court although the military is planning to try the solider under their own system.

The soldier is among a group alleged to have arrested Mr Verebasaga after complaints were received that he was causing trouble in his community.

Last week, police said they hoped to charge the soldier this week after completing their investigations, however, the man was taken back by the military.

The army spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, says the military is seeking to put the solider before a court martial tribunal.

Consultation is underway between military lawyers, the police legal department and representatives from the office of the Director of Public Prosecution.