5 Jan 2017

Fiji court hears multiple police brutality claims

8:26 am on 5 January 2017

The Lautoka magistrates court in Fiji on Tuesday heard four complaints of police brutality in two separate criminal cases.

The Fiji Times reports one of the cases involved two vocational students, aged 17 and 19, each charged with aggravated robbery and theft.

Addressing the court, the 19-year-old claimed he was blindfolded, handcuffed and then repeatedly beaten with a rod while in police custody.

The 17-year-old also claimed similar injuries.

Presiding Magistrate Mosese Naivalu ordered the young men be medically examined and remanded in custody and the case transferred to the High Court in Lautoka.

In a separate case Mr Naivalu released on bail two suspects who claimed they were beaten up by police in Sigatoka last weekend.

Sirvendra Deo Singh and Steven Maharaj were accused of stealing a rental car and making illegal modifications to the vehicle.

Mr Singh told the court he sustained injuries to his left eye, left ear and rib cage after being beaten by police.

Mr Maharaj claimed his left leg was hit with a crowbar while a rod was used to hit his head. He said his left ear was also injured.

Mr Naivalu also ordered the men undergo further medical examination.

Sigatoka police prosecutor Sergeant Mohammed Shamim argued that if the two suspects were assaulted with crowbars they would not be able to stand in court.

He said police had a strong case against the accused persons.