22 Mar 2007

Legal action may be taken over death of youth in Fiji

7:07 pm on 22 March 2007

The police in Fiji are being given a time limit for their investigations into the death of a youth who had been detained by soldiers or they, and the army, may face legal action.

19 year old Sakiusa Rabaka died from head injuries after he and two other youths were picked up by soldiers and a policeman in Nadi, and allegedly given severe beatings.

His mother, Alanieta Rabaka, says she's been told nothing about the progress of the investigations being carried out by the military and the police into the matter.

She says she will be handing a letter to the Sabeto police station in Nadi tomorrow to inform the police that unless they are close to laying charges by the end of the month, she may take legal action.

"We have just given them a time limit for their investigations and if we do not have any response from them, then we are thinking going ahead with legal proceedings. Bring them, take them to court and bring the men that caused those injuries and caused the death of my son, to justice."

Mrs Rabaka says she doesn't know what the holdup is because the police and the army know the identity of the soldiers and the police officer involved.


The Fiji military says an investigation is continuing into circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Rabaka.

The military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, says he cannot say when their investigation will be concluded.

He says the police are continuing to conduct their own investigation into the matter and they will forward their information to the appropriate authorities who will decide whether charges will be laid.

The police public relations office says the acting commissioner, Romano Tikotikoca, is the only person who can comment on the case but he was unavailable to answer queries.