22 Apr 2008

Fiji Police officers convicted for Malasebe murder

8:46 pm on 22 April 2008

Three Fiji police officers have been convicted in relation to the murder of Tevita Malasebe.

The police had taken the 30-year old from his home in June 2007 and his mother found him dead at a hospital in Suva the next morning.

A post mortem revealed he had died from internal injuries.

Eight policemen were charged with his murder.

Our Fiji correspondent, Matelita Ragogo, was in the High Court on Tuesday to hear the verdict.

"Justice Nazhat Shameem ruled that there was enough evidence to convict three of them, two of whom are convicted for murder and the third one is convicted of being an accessory to murder. The three men to be sentenced, they were the three main police officers who had gone and picked up Malasebe from his home last June. They were the ones who were actually manhandling Malasebe during the time. The other five, they were present but there was insufficient evidence to pin the murder charge."

Justice Shameem found Corporal Lole Vulaca and Constable Rusiate Korovusere guilty on the murder charge.

Sergeant Pita Matai has been found guilty on an accessory to murder charge.

Justice Nazhat Shameem acquitted Constable Waisale Boletawa, Constable Maika Rauqera, Constable Jone Cama, Corporal Eremasi Naraga and Constable Erenimo Susunikoro.