11 Jul 2007

Mother of deceased Fiji youth fears military will delay son's case

2:48 pm on 11 July 2007

The mother of a 19-year-old Fiji youth who died from injuries he allegedly suffered at the hands of soldiers, fears the military will conduct a court-martial on the case to further delay the chance of a fair trial.

Sakiusa Rabaka died after being allegedly beaten by the army as did another man, Nimilote Verebasaga.

Police said earlier this year that they had handed the case file to the Director of Public Prosecutions to determine whether charges should be laid.

The teenager's mother, Alanieta Rabaka, says she hasn't heard any development on her son's case in over six weeks, and it's taking too long.

She says Verebasaga's case was meant to be heard last week, but the military delayed proceedings by asking for a court-martial.

"I feel that they might do the same with Saki's, just to delay the case a little further. If the case was heard in a court, I feel that the sentence will be according to the crime committed but if they take the case to the military court I don't think that the sentence will be according to the crime committed."

Alanieta Rabaka.