A MAN who initially denied a charge of manslaughter has been convicted by the High Court in Suva.
Yesterday was set for hearing but Ritesh Ram changed his plea when he appeared before judge Justice Salesi Temo.
The court heard that on December 25, 2009, the deceased, Sunil Kumar, attended a carnival at around 8.30pm and left with Ravikash Rai and Narendra Prasad in a taxi driven by the latter.
As the taxi passed the accused, who was also at the carnival, a sound was heard. The deceased and two others approached Ram and the confrontation resulted in a scuffle.
The court heard Mr Rai threw a stone and it hit Ram on the forehead. Outnumbered the accused pulled out a knife and stabbed Kumar in the stomach. Kumar died on August 10, 2010.
The defence agreed with the summary of facts.
Ram was represented by Legal Aid Commission lawyer Vuli Savou.
Justice Temo said the elements of manslaughter were satisfied beyond reasonable doubt and convicted Ram, a first offender.
DPP lawyer Lisiate Fotofili asked that the case be called tomorrow for sentencing hearing to allow them to file the victim impact report and sentencing submission.
Justice Temo directed the defence to file its plea in mitigation and sentencing submission tomorrow.
Bail was extended for Ram.