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Isoof acted like a savior to the family: Investigating Officer

January 6, 2022 4:06 pm
Mohammad Isoof

The Investigating Officer of the Nausori Highlands case told the court that Mohammed Isoof acted like he was a savior to Nirmal Kumar’s family.

Detective Sergeant Anil Kumar who took the stand as the 55th state witness and spoke about their investigation of accused Mohammad Isoof who was well respected by the family.

The trial is now into its 12th day and Isoof is charged with five counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

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While giving evidence, Sergeant Kumar said that Isoof had allegedly made promises to the late Nirmal Kumar and his family that he would take them to New Zealand.

He said that Isoof allegedly even offered to give the family one of his six properties in New Zealand, which would take them out of their miserable life in Legalega Nadi.

However, the state witness said their investigation indicated the accused did not even own any property and was renting in New Zealand.

But he told the court that Isoof was well respected by Kumar’s family and that they would pamper him with special Indian food whenever he visited Fiji.

According to Kumar, all this information was gathered by him through close family members of the deceased family and the community of Legalega.

He also revealed in court that Isoof took a top-up loan from New Zealand of $7,900 in July 2019 which was converted to $FJD10,000 in a money exchange outlet.

The investigating officer told the court the accused himself showed him these documents.

He also said that Isoof was a former Police Officer at Namaka, worked at a guard force and later was in Australia for various jobs.

He said the accused was then deported from Australia, was in Fiji for a while before moving to New Zealand under his Permanent Residence.

The state witness also told the court that Isoof had booked a plane ticket back to NZ for the 29th of August 2019.

During the cross examination, the defence argued that majority of what the Investigating Officer said in court were not recorded in his statement.

The defence lawyer told Sergeant Kumar that his statement was only 26 lines to which the witness said that it was a summary of his investigation and that if he had written down everything it would have been a book.

He was then asked why he did not disclose to them about a witness providing videos and photos that were taken at the Nausori Highlands.

He said they investigated the matter and the photos and videos were taken 10km away from the crime scene which was not relevant to their investigation.

However the defence maintained that it should have been disclosed to them.

Sergeant Kumar was also asked if they tried to find the unidentified individuals as their DNA was picked up on the prayer items at the scene to which he told the court that the DNA expert would have been in a better position to answer.

The defence quizzed the state witness that they did not know who else was out there.

The Investigating Officer said the only person who was at the scene was the accused and the unidentified DNA could be of the cashier or packer so it doesn’t take a lot of intellectual capacity to figure that out.

It was then put to Sergeant Kumar that there was nothing against the accused to which he responded that there was enough circumstantial evidence against Isoof.

It is alleged that in August 2019, Mohammad Isoof murdered three adults and two children and attempted to murder an 11-month old by abandoning her at Nausori Highlands, Nadi.

The bodies of a 63-year-old carpenter, Nirmal Kumar, his 54-year-old wife, Usha Devi, their 34-year-old daughter, Nileshni Kajal and her two daughters Sana aged 11, and Samara, 8 were all found near a cliff.

The trial will continue tomorrow.

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