Four Navy sailors to know their fate today
July 23, 2018 7:04 pm
Its judgment day for the four navy sailors involved in the grounding of RFNS Kiro on July 14th, 2016 as they will be sentenced today.
The accused are Lieutenant Commander Saula Tuilevuka, Lieutenant Samuela Cikaitoga, Lieutenant Ben Salacakau and Ensign Michael Brown.
The four who are charged with neglecting to perform a duty contrary to Section 29A (b) of the Army Act of 1955 will be sentenced by the general court martial at the RFMF headquarters in Nabua, Suva.
The Prosecution had earlier this month requested for a lenient sentence for the officers.
Judge Advocate Lieutenant Colonel Jiten Singh while delivering his sentencing remarks told the court martial, the officers are convicted with the charge they’re accused with and the maximum penalty is two years imprisonment.
However, he advised the court to consider the mitigation from the accused and their witnesses, as well as the prosecution’s sentencing remarks requesting for a light sentence.
The Judge Advocate highlighted the aggravating factors that as a result of their neglect, Kiro is no longer available meaning the Navy is now one vessel down.
Despite no lives lost and no injuries sustained during the incident, the lives of the crew members were put at risk and because of their seniority, they were to set good examples for the juniors in rank.
He also highlighted the mitigating factors that the four pleaded guilty on their first hearing which saved the court’s time and they full co-operation with the investigation.
The Court has been adjourned to 9am for sentencing.