27 Jul 2007

Eight Fiji policemen in court over custody deaths

10:13 am on 27 July 2007

Fiji's police commissioner, Commodore Esala Teleni, has given an assurance that the relatives of the three people who died in military or police custody this year will receive justice.

Commodore Teleni gave the assurance as seven police officers appeared in Valelevu court yesterday charged with the murder of 31-year old Tevita Malasebe.

Malasebe was taken from his home for questioning on night of the 5th of June and next seen dead by his mother at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva the next morning.

An eighth officer, Sergeant Pita Matai, was charged with being an accessory to the fact of murder.

No plea was taken.

Magistrate Alofa Seruvatu released all eight on strict bail conditions until their next appearance in court when a plea will be taken.

The deaths in custody cases have caused an outcry in Fiji.