IO in Nausori Highlands murder to appear in appeal hearing

June 6, 2024 11:55 am

Mohammed Isoof [File Photo]

Lautoka High Court Judge Justice Riyaz Hamza has ordered the investigating officer in the Nausori Highlands murder case to appear before the court to explain discrepancies regarding the handling of crucial evidence.

Mohammed Isoof, who is currently serving a life sentence at Natabua Corrections Facility after being convicted of five counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, is appealing his conviction.

He was sentenced on January 21, 2022.

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The matter has taken another turn as questions arise about the custody of key exhibits.

During proceedings at the High Court in Lautoka, Isoof represented himself, while the state was represented by Unal Dev Lal.

Lal informed the court that the exhibits in question a mobile phone, an Apple iPad, and the contents of Isoof’s wallet were initially stored at the Namaka Police Station but had since been relocated to the Nadi Police Station.

However, a concerning revelation emerged during the hearing as it was discovered that an individual had signed the register and received the items at the Nadi Police Station.

When asked by Justice Hamza about who had taken the items, Lal could only confirm that the register contained a signature without a corresponding name.

It was also revealed that an order to release the items was issued on February 3rd last year, raising suspicions due to the significant delay.

Justice Hamza emphasized the need for clarity on how the items were transferred between police stations.

In response, Lal stated that only the investigating officer could provide clarification regarding the transfer and requested their presence at the next court session.

Isoof, however, accused the state of attempting to conceal details, prompting Justice Hamza to remind him that such claims cannot be made without evidence in court.

The hearing will continue on June 20th.