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Congo national's murder trial begins

April 12, 2021 10:57 am

44-year-old Jennifer Anne Downes was violently attacked in her own home, a place where she should have felt safe.

State Prosecutor Elizabeth Rice said this while giving her opening statement in the Suva High Court this morning as Kiala Henri Lusaka’s trial got underway.

The Congo national is charged with one count of murder.

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The alleged incident occurred on July 23rd, 2019, at the home rented by the accused and the victim in Service Street, Suva.

The state prosecutor also said that the deceased was the sole breadwinner as Lusaka was not working.

She said that Downes was in Marshall Islands two days before the alleged incident however she had to cut her trip short due to marital issues.

On the day of the alleged incident, Lusaka allegedly sent a picture of his daughter with bruises to his father-in-law via Facebook who then contacted the local authorities.

When police entered the house they found the deceased’s body in the bedroom with her face up and coins covering her eyes.

It was heard in court that the post mortem revealed that Downes suffered multiple bruises and endured violent attacks.

The trial continues in the High Court.

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