Fiji Times Logo

Fiji Time: 4:23 AM on Wednesday 24 September

/ Front page / News

Lawyer withdraws from murder case

Ropate Valemei
Thursday, February 14, 2013

TWO of the six Asian nationals implicated in the murder of a local businessman were told by the High Court in Suva to look for a lawyer before the trial begins in three months time.

This after their lawyer Aseri Vakaloloma applied to withdraw from representing them because he was not being paid.

Mr Vakaloloma said it was not in his interest to represent them without being paid.

Appearing before Justice Salesi Temo, Yang Xiu Qi and Hu Jian Zhan said through their interpreter they had no money left in Fiji to pay Mr Vakaloloma.

Mr Qi, Mr Zhan, Bill Hao, Liu Chuan Wei, Veng Seong Tam and Dai Jian each face a count of murder.

They told the court that they had to contact their families in China to get money to pay their lawyer.

They also submitted that they could loan money from people they know in Fiji to facilitate the payment.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) lawyer Mosese Korovou did not object to Mr Vakaloloma's application.

Justice Temo declined Mr Vakaloloma's request saying it was too late for him to withdraw because they had three months left for trial.

"Any counsel should be walking into the case with a challenge he or she might not get paid. If you had withdrawn after three months when the case was opened it would have been granted," Justice Temo said.

He said Mr Vakaloloma's withdrawal would jeopardise the trial.

Justice Temo told the two accused to contact their families in China for financial assistance or apply for Legal Aid Commission assistance.

The men are charged with the murder of Suva businessman Robert Fong.

Fong was murdered in the early hours of April 8 last year at a service station along Suva's Victoria Parade.

The case has been adjourned to February 28 for a pre-trial conference.


Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Who will be in Cabinet
  2. Fiji's Prime Minister
  3. Opposition will be effective
  4. Fight not in vain
  5. Woman, 50, in hospital
  6. Writ of Election returned
  7. Friendship intact
  8. Vegetable prices up
  9. Threatening dives
  10. Taps run dry as crisis worsens

Top Stories this Week

  1. FijiFirst claims 60 per cent Thursday (18 Sep)
  2. Parties reject result Friday (19 Sep)
  3. Leader of the pack Thursday (18 Sep)
  4. No stop Friday (19 Sep)
  5. Fiji First in strong lead: Fiji Elections Saturday (20 Sep)
  6. PM's 1st mission Monday (22 Sep)
  7. FijiFirst leads Thursday (18 Sep)
  8. Elections supervisor to announce final results Friday (19 Sep)
  9. Bainimarama's promise: I will serve all Monday (22 Sep)
  10. Election office begins to receive final results Friday (19 Sep)