Suspect in police officer death charged with murder
October 24, 2019 7:51 am
The man alleged to have murdered 24-year-old Police Constable Siuta Niumataiwalu has been charged with one count of murder and faces three more counts of serious offences for two separate cases that allegedly occurred on the same night.
On the night of Monday 21st October 2019, several hours after he was released on bail from the Nadi Magistrates Court for a separate case of theft, the 20-year-old accused who originally hails from Taveuni allegedly seriously assaulted and robbed a 52-year-old farmer from Vatukacevaceva, Ra along Yaweni Street.
The accused allegedly stole the victim’s bag containing clothes, shoes, cash and a kitchen knife which was later identified as the alleged murder weapon used to stab the late PC Niumataiwalu.
An hour later at around 10.30pm the accused allegedly robbed a 32-year-old driver from Lovu in Lautoka of his phone near Vitogo Parade.
A police officer on patrol witnessed the alleged incident and chased the accused who climbed onto the roof of a building.
Back at the Lautoka Police Station, Niumataiwalu was about to be deployed with other investigators to attend to another case in Buabua when they received a report whereby the accused was seen on top of a building.
When they were parked outside the Western Division Headquarters en-route to the second case, they saw the victim allegedly run across the road and when warned to stop, he refused.
The late officer chased the accused while the rest of the team cut him off at the Churchill Park ground.
Niumataiwalu managed to arrest the accused.
However, in the process the accused allegedly took out a kitchen knife and stabbed the late officer several times resulting in his death.
He fled the scene but was confronted by the other officers who arrested him and took him into custody.
The accused has been charged with one count of murder, one count of robbery, one count of theft and one count of serious assault.
He will be produced at Lautoka Magistrates court later today.