Brutality claim

Ilaisa Calevu outside the Sigatoka Magistrates Court yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

A MAN from Navosa accused of cultivating more than 1700 plants believed to be marijuana has claimed he was allegedly assaulted by police while being arrested near Natukalevu Village on March 13.

While appearing in the Sigatoka Magistrates Court on Monday, Ilaisa Calevu’s defence counsel claimed his client had been assaulted by police and was denied any medical attention.

The Legal Aid Commission lawyer told Magistrate Tomasi Bainivalu that Mr Calevu’s request to be taken to the Sigatoka Hospital for treatment was refused.

The defence lawyer also claimed Mr Calevu was in handcuffs from the time he was arrested until his appearance at the Sigatoka Magistrates Court this week.

Responding to the claims, divisional police prosecutor ASP Anil Prasad said a report would be submitted in court regarding the 32-year-old’s arrest. He said during interrogation, the accused had co-operated with police.

He added that Mr Calevu would be taken to the Sigatoka Hospital for an examination.

Mr Bainivalu agreed that the Natukalevu villager had to be taken to the nearest medical facility.

He ordered that the accused be escorted to Sigatoka Hospital and a medical report be presented to the court.

Mr Calevu is charged with four counts of cultivation of illicit drugs and criminal intimidation.

The matter has been adjourned to April 3.