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Fourth prosecution witness testifies in Lalauvaki’s murder trial

October 17, 2019 4:57 pm

Investigation against police officers who allegedly assaulted 26-year-old local rugby player Josua Lalauvaki started three weeks after the incident.

The alleged incident happened on 2nd September 2018.

The High court today heard the testimony of ASP Rusiate Ryland as the murder trial of two former officers Kelepi Kolinisau and Selema Tikoenaburevere continued on the fourth day.

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It is alleged that the pair caused the eventual death of Lalauvaki because of the alleged assault in Suva on September 2nd last year.

Lalauvaki died at CWM hospital a month later as a result of injuries.

ASP Ryland who was the senior officer managing the operations at the Totogo police Station said he was in his room when he heard a commotion.

He said he went outside to have a look and saw Tikoenaburevere and a civilian exchanging punches.

ASP Ryland said Kolinisau also joined in and kicked the civilian.

He said after the incident Sergeant Pradip Lal who was also on duty that day said that no report was lodged by the civilian of the alleged assault.

In cross-examination, ASP Ryland said that he was not aware that two days after the incident, Lalauvaki’s brother had come into the Police station to enquire about the report.

It was put to him by the defense counsel that two days after the incident his officers at the police station had come to know that Lalauvaki was admitted at the hospital as it was entered in the station diary.

ASP Ryland denied having any knowledge.

He also denied that he told Sergeant Lal that he will deal with the matter.

In cross-examination, earlier today, Sergeant Lal had said that he did not report what had conspired on the 2nd of September as ASP Ryland had told him that he was dealing with the situation.

ASP Ryland also admitted that he did not instruct any officer to review the CCTV footage of the day the alleged incident happened.

He said they only keep the footage when a complaint comes in for an investigation to be carried out.

He said he was called to the CID headquarters where he found out about the investigation into the allegation of assault against police officers.

The trial will continue tomorrow.

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